The Renaissance art in Puglia and Basilicata is much less known than the heavily touristed and much studied sites in central Italy. Life-sized painted sculptures, many carved out of local stone, inhabit rough-walled cave churches and elaborate classically inspired mausolea. An elegantly attired angel hacks repeatedly at a cowering dragon, a saint looks unperturbed as her fingers sink into a lion’s mouth, a mother grins toothily as she cuddles her baby, and shepherds blow into bagpipes while stone sheep graze nearby. Artists placed holy narratives in spaces like the rocky landscape around them, and dressed sacred personages in local dress, while at the same time harkening back to an ancient past shrouded in myth and mystery. The art is both distinctively local and cosmopolitan, drawing upon influences from around the Adriatic and beyond. This open access database offers high-resolution images of and information about (with a catalog entry and bibliography for each work) over 100 objects, along with an interactive digital map. Approximately 1,000 high-resolution photographs can be downloaded and used free of charge for research, teaching, and publication. This database was created by Claire Litt and Una D’Elia (Queen’s University).
In addition to supporting scholarship on this understudied region by offering open access photographs, this database is a rich resource for teaching, as students can carry out research, curate, and publish their own virtual exhibitions using the database. (Links to undergraduate and graduate student exhibitions are provided on the homepage.)
The mountains and lakes of Lombardy and Piedmont are both picturesque and rich with little-known cultural heritage. In the Renaissance and Baroque, northern Italy, which bordered Protestant lands, was central to promoting and supporting the Catholic faith. Life-sized painted sculptures made of wood, terracotta, and other materials were arranged to create naturalistic tableaux in chapels on holy mountains (Sacri Monti), pilgrimage sites which the devout visited at night, whipping themselves before sculptures must have seemed to come to life by the flickering light of lanterns. Sculpted bodies with a range of skin tones, some thin from suffering and illness and others Herculean in their muscular energy, have actual hair and are bound with real ropes or eat from real dishes. Other fleshy sculptures inhabit huge, theatrical altarpieces. Many of these living statues continue to be the focus of cult today and so are adorned with real jewelry and other offerings made by the faithful. These sculptures are site specific, embedded in the landscape, politics, and devotional practices of the region, but also the work of cosmopolitan artists and patrons with international connections. This database offers high-resolution images of and information about over 185 sculptures and sculptural groups, along with an interactive digital map. The information is in the form of a catalog entry with bibliography for each sculpture or sculptural group. Over 1,300 high-resolution photographs are available for download and can be used free of charge for research, teaching, and publication. This database was created by Kennis Forte and Una D’Elia (Queen’s University).
In addition to supporting scholarship in this understudied area by offering open access photographs that can be published free of charge, this database is a rich resource for teaching, as students can carry out research, curate, and publish their own virtual exhibitions using the database (links to undergraduate and graduate student exhibitions provided on the homepage).
Renaissance Polychrome Sculpture in Tuscany is an open-access database of high-resolution photographs of and information (with a catalog entry and bibliography for each sculpture) about over 350 objects. Thousands of photographs are freely available for download and can be used without charge in research, teaching, and publication. An interactive digital map, colour coded by material, shows the current location of each object. The database would be of interest to scholars and students of art, materials and techniques, miraculous images, portraiture, gender representations, domestic devotion, altarpieces, hagiography, the history of childhood, orphanages, hospitals, pilgrimages, color, the surface or skin of an object, and other topics. (This database was created by Una D’Elia, Heather Merla, Rachel Boyd, and Bronwyn Bond, working with a team of librarians at Queen’s University, headed by Rosarie Coughlin.)