In Dosso Dossi: Paintings of Myth, Magic, and the Antique, Giancarlo Fiorenza draws on a wealth of rarely studied primary source material to present the work of the Ferrarese court artist Dosso Dossi in a new light. The artist, who worked mainly for Duke Alfonso I d’Este of Ferrara, is celebrated for his mythological paintings that spoke to the courtly imagination. Fiorenza focuses on Dosso’s highly allusive and eloquent portrayal of ancient and vernacular subjects found in such well-known works as Jupiter Painting Butterflies, Myth of Pan, Enchantress, and his frescoes of Aesop’s fables.
Dosso’s art challenges conventional iconographic analysis, and Fiorenza considers how the poetics governing his imagery recasts literary sources, including Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso, by magnifying their most pictorial components. Perhaps more compellingly than any of his contemporaries, Dosso’s paintings transformed courtly ideals and princely identity into a new sensual spirit.
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Giancarlo Fiorenza is Assistant Professor in the Department of Art and Design at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. His articles have been included in such publications as Art Bulletin, Renaissance Quarterly, I Tatti Studies, and Modern Language Notes.Review:
“Giancarlo Fiorenza has provided an indispensable contribution to the study of Italian Renaissance culture. . . . There is, in fact, no comparable account of Ferrarese court culture in the sixteenth century.”
—Stephen Campbell, The Johns Hopkins University
“In this beautifully crafted, original study, Fiorenza not only renovates Dosso’s reputation in terms of his ‘luxuriant and festive manner,’ but also effectively situates his work within its northern Italian context.”
—J. B. Gregory, Choice
“This is an elegantly argued and beautifully produced book. It is also provocative, in that it raises still more questions about Dosso, his work, and his times.”
—Charles M. Rosenberg, Renaissance Quarterly
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