Milanese Bronze, Spanish Stone, and Imperial Materials: Sculptural Interchange and the Leoni Workshops (1549-1608)

Show simple item record Sepponen, Wendy 2018-06-07T17:53:08Z 2018-06-07T17:53:08Z 2018 2018
dc.description.abstract This dissertation investigates how one Italian workshop grew and adapted to working in and for an expanding empire as it negotiated the continuation of dynastic traditions with the influx of new territories, industries, and resources. Leone and Pompeo Leoni were the primary sculptors for the Hapsburg court during Charles V and Philip II’s rule over their extensive and heterogeneous empire, then at the height of its power. The Leoni’s sixty years of collaboration were marked by three distinctive phases in their professional and personal acculturation. The pair began work for the Hapsburgs from Leone’s workshop in Milan and continued to use this site for their bronze casting for forty years. While they cast their sculptures exclusively in their northern Italian location, Pompeo eventually expanded their operations to a new workshop in Madrid, where he balanced finishing the Milanese bronzes with new Spanish commissions. This required collaborations with his father in Milan, employing local and foreign sculptors, and utilizing a new range of sculptural materials available in Spain and imported from imperial territories, often at the behest of his Hapsburg patrons. Finally, this decades-long negotiation between divisions of labor, centers of power, and evolving sculptural practices culminated in Pompeo’s establishment of a bronze foundry in Madrid, thereby marking the successful consolidation of the Leoni’s multi-regional practice firmly on Spanish soil. What follows is a sustained study of the Leoni’s output for Spanish royalty that mines archival documents and focuses on the sculptures in their settings and the materials out of which they were made. Particular attention is paid to how the materials conveyed meanings related to their geographic origins and their sites of manufacture: Milanese bronzes and Spanish stones. I situate Leone’s casting, not simply in opposition to Spanish sculptural practices, but within a network of metallurgical techniques and sculptural industries, complicating art historical conceptions about “Italian” and “Spanish” art in the period. I return to the primary sources in order to provide new chronologies and analyses of the collaborative manufacture of the Hapsburg commissions undertaken by the Leoni. The Leoni’s treatment of sculptural materials and the ends to which their patrons mobilized and activated these materials are keys to understanding the ambitions of these projects. I present chronologically the Leoni’s three most extensive commissions for the Hapsburgs, two of which formed a central part of El Escorial’s monumental dynastic and religious program. In Chapter 2, I examine a series of eleven portraits, including the Charles V and Furor, that are now in Madrid’s Prado Museum, commissioned in Brussels, cast in Milan, returned to Brussels still unfinished for royal approval, and finally brought to Madrid to be finished in Pompeo’s newly established workshop. Twenty-three years later, Pompeo received the commission for the El Escorial altarpiece whose contract is the centerpiece of Chapter 3. Pompeo worked in collaboration with his father on this project, returning to Milan to work on the sculptures prior to Leone’s death. Lastly, the tomb monuments that flank El Escorial’s high altarpiece, treated in Chapter 4, feature ten gilded bronze and multi-media kneeling sculptures of Charles V, Philip II, and their family members. These works were made exclusively in Madrid by collaborative workshops on which the Hapsburg court continued to rely, even after Philip II’s death in 1598, and which stayed active until Pompeo’s death in 1608.
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.subject Leoni
dc.subject Hapsburg
dc.subject Sculpture
dc.subject Italy
dc.subject Spain
dc.subject Materials
dc.title Milanese Bronze, Spanish Stone, and Imperial Materials: Sculptural Interchange and the Leoni Workshops (1549-1608)
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.thesisdegreename PHD
dc.description.thesisdegreediscipline History of Art
dc.description.thesisdegreegrantor University of Michigan, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies
dc.contributor.committeemember Holmes, Megan L
dc.contributor.committeemember Potts, Alexander D
dc.contributor.committeemember Garcia Santo-Tomas, Enrique
dc.contributor.committeemember Brusati, Celeste A
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel History (General)
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Humanities (General)
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel Romance Languages and Literature
dc.subject.hlbsecondlevel West European Studies
dc.subject.hlbtoplevel Humanities
dc.identifier.orcid 0000-0002-2389-679X Sepponen, Wendy; 0000-0002-2389-679X en_US
dc.owningcollname Dissertations and Theses (Ph.D. and Master's)
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