2023 IAS Research and Publication Grant

Christopher Platts (University of Cincinnati)

Exporting the Splendors of Venice: Paolo Veneziano and Venetian Gothic Painting in the Mediterranean World

My research project repositions Venice at the nexus of global artistic networks during the Gothic period. As the study of medieval European art expands to include considerations of intercultural exchange, patrons of diverse religions and ethnicities, and the wide-ranging movement of artists and objects, it is essential to re-center Venice in the artistic geography of the increasingly connected, Mediterranean world of the trecento.

Broadening our view of medieval European painting beyond major centers reveals that a socially diverse and technologically innovative artistic culture flourished in Venice and its maritime empire centuries before Giovanni Bellini and Titian. Although the Venetian Republic occupied a small territory prior to 1400, its commercial interests stretched across the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas and reached three continents. Reconsidering Venice in the 1300s provides new visual evidence and foregrounds an artistic culture in which patrons and viewers were especially diverse and the functional types of paintings quite original.

My research on Venetian Gothic painting lies at the intersection of two major trends in medieval art history—cultural exchange and materiality studies—and embraces the concept of a more inclusive and connected Middle Ages. Focusing specifically on paintings by the leading artist Paolo Veneziano (ca. 1290-1358) and his workshop, my book develops a compelling case study for expanding the artistic geography of late medieval Italy, Europe, and the eastern Mediterranean. Because Paolo’s works and related Venetian Gothic paintings were exported to central and eastern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, patrons included men and women of different ethnicities, social classes, religious confessions, and cultural-linguistic backgrounds. My book project thus focuses on the diverse patronage, widespread reception, and innovative design of Venetian Gothic painting, focusing on Paolo Veneziano, his workshop, and his extended family.

Officers & Contacts