Performing the bridal body in fifteenth-century Florence

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21 Scopus citations


Culture constructs stages for the performance of the body. One of the ways in which those stages are erected is though somatic ornamentation. This essay focuses on the extraordinarily expensive and elaborate jewels bestowed upon brides in fifteenth-century Florence. Adducing family record books, sumptuary legislation, as well as religious and secular symbolic attitudes toward body decoration, this study documents how jewels functioned in the economic and symbolic exchanges then constituting marriage. Moreover, it links the jewels to those seen in a broad variety of visual arts. Seen not only as supplemental decoration, marital jewels are construed as beacons defining the limits of the performed bridal body.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-200
Number of pages19
JournalArt History
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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