Alexander J. Noelle - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Alexander J. Noelle

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Alexander J. Noelle

PhD student

Thesis: ‘Mythologising the Individual: The Life, Death, and Afterlife of Giuliano de’ Medici in Art and Literature’

Supervised by Scott Nethersole

Funded by the following fellowships from Vassar College: The Elinor Wardle Squier Townsend Fellowship (2015 – 16), The Louise Hart Van Loon Fellowship (2016 – 17),  The Oppi Handler Fellowship (2017 – 18), & The Elinor Wardle Squier Townsend Fellowship (2020 – 2021)

Giuliano de’ Medici (1453 – 1478) is one of the most prominent yet understudied figures of the Quattrocento, his importance forgotten and legacy reduced to being the assassinated younger brother of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Modern as well as Renaissance literature reinforces this idea, yet it is inconsistent with records of his artistic patronage and political responsibilities. Giuliano was clearly an integral member of the aesthetic and political arena of Florence, especially in the decade after his father Piero’s death (1469) when Lorenzo assumed the role of pater familias. I plan to demonstrate the complexity of the persona constructed around Giuliano by reconsidering and exploring the literature and visual art that is directly related to him. In the first study devoted specifically to this member of the Medici family, I will focus on the evolution of his image and identity that were, at first, fashioned by Giuliano himself and then, after he was killed, commandeered by Lorenzo and others. My research will demonstrate the importance of Giuliano and his visual legacy, both of which were overshadowed by Lorenzo in life as well as subsequent scholarly literature.

Education

  • 2014 – Present: Courtauld Institute of Art, PhD History of Art
  • 2013 – 2014: Courtauld Institute of Art, MA History of Art
    Specialist Option: The Arts of Florence and Central Italy, 1400 – 1500
    Dissertation: The Bust of Giuliano de’ Medici by Andrea del Verrocchio
  • 2005 – 2009: Vassar College, BA History of Art / Italian
    Dissertation: Reading Renaissance Cassoni – Wedding Chests as Loci for the Exchange of Social Values, Ideologies, and Gender Roles

Groups and Societies

  • American Association for Italian Studies
  • Association of Art Historians
  • College Art Association
  • Graphic Arts Group, British Museum & Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Italian Art Society
  • Postgraduate Graphic Arts Group, Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Renaissance Society of America
  • Society for Italian Studies
  • Society for Renaissance Studies
  • Works on Paper Study Group, Courtauld Institute of Art

Research Interests

  • Renaissance Florence
  • Portraiture
  • The Medici Family
  • Patronage
  • Provenance and Attribution
  • Prints & Drawings

Recent Publications

  • ‘Sandro Botticelli’s Portraits of Giuliano de’ Medici’ / Article in: Facture: Conservation, Science, Art History (Volume IV: Series, Multiples, Replicas), Published by: The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA (October 2019)
  • Bertoldo di Giovanni: The Renaissance of Sculpture in Medici Florence
    -Main Essay: ‘Reframing Bertoldo and His Legacy’
    -Essay: ‘The Indefinite Identities of Bertoldo di Giovanni’s Shield Bearers’
    -Catalogue Entries: Battle / Bellerophon & Pegasus / Crucifixion / Hercules on Horseback / Orpheus / Shield Bearers
    -Documentary Appendix: The Documented Life and Artwork of Bertoldo di Giovanni (100 archival sources, 1450 – 1500)
    Published by: The Frick Collection, New York, NY, USA (September 2019)
  • ‘Bertoldo: Sculptor of Renaissance Florence’ & ‘Bertoldo di Giovanni’s Wild Man’ /
    Articles in: The Frick Collection Members’ Magazine, Published by: The Frick Collection, New York, NY, USA (November 2019 & September 2018)
  • ‘The Art of the Network: Visualizing Social Relationships, 1400 – 1600’ / Article in: Bulletin of the Society for Renaissance Studies, Vol. XXXV, No. 1 Published by: The Society for Renaissance Studies, London, UK (April 2018)
  • ‘The Portrait of Cardinal Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle by Scipione Pulzone: An Enduring Image’ / The Courtauld Institute of Art Research Forum: Research Associate Projects & the Courtauld Collections, 2013 – 2014 (August 2014)

Lectures

  • ‘Bertoldo di Giovanni: Ingenious Sculptor of Renaissance Florence’ / Lecture Series: Special Exhibition Lectures / Given at: The Frick Collection, New York, NY, USA (October 2019)
  • ‘Authentic Masterpieces and Unreal Artworks: Renaissance Fakes and Connoisseurship’ / Lecture Series: Evaluating the Evidence of Authenticity – Course at Columbia University / Given at: The Frick Collection, New York, NY, USA (July 2019)
  • ‘The Fakes, Forgeries, and Masterpieces of Bertoldo di Giovanni’ / Lecture Series: Evaluating the Evidence of Authenticity – Course at Columbia University / Given at: The Frick Collection, New York, NY, USA (July 2018)
  • ‘He Loved Him As His Own Soul – A Fraternal Reinterpretation of Andrea del Verrocchio’s David‘ / Lecture Series: Works in Progress – Highlighting New Research on Objects from the Collection / Given at: The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA (April 2018)
  • ‘The Life of Christ in Italian Master Drawings: From Bellini to Michelangelo to Tiepolo’ / The Courtauld Institute of Art Summer School in Art History (July 2016)
  • ‘Draughtsmanship in the Italian Renaissance: Materials, Techniques, Functions’ / The Courtauld Institute of Art Summer School in Art History (July 2015)
  • ‘The Arts of Marriage and Prostitution in Renaissance Florence’ / The Courtauld Institute of Art Summer School in Art History (July 2015)

Conference Papers

  • ‘All Hail the Magnificent: Verrocchio, Bertoldo, and the Arts of Renaissance Florence’ (Panel Participant) / Presented at: The European Fine Arts Fair, New York, NY, USA (November 2019)
  • ‘Bel Julio? Giuliano de’ Medici as an Ideal of Male Beauty in Renaissance Florence’ / Conference Series: The Third Year Research Student Symposium, Courtauld Institute of Art / Given at: The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, UK (June 2017)
  • ”Immortal’ Identity: The Multivalence of Giuliano de’ Medici in Art and Literature’ / The Second Year Research Student Symposium, Courtauld Institute of Art (April 2016)
  • ‘Two Sides of the Same Coin: Bertoldo di Giovanni’s Medal Commemorating the Death of Giuliano and Survival of Lorenzo de’ Medici’ / Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Boston (March 2016)
  • ‘The Portrait of Cardinal Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle by Scipione Pulzone: Discoveries and Conclusions’ / Research Associate Projects & the Courtauld Collections, 2013 – 2014: Conservation & Art Historical Analysis (May 2014)
  • ‘The Portrait of Cardinal Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle by Scipione Pulzone: Overview and Hypotheses’ / Research Associate Projects & the Courtauld Collections, 2013 – 2014: Conservation & Art Historical Analysis (March 2014)

Conferences Organised

  • ‘Study Day: Bertoldo di Giovanni – Reassessing The Renaissance of Sculpture’ / Presented at: The Frick Collection, New York, NY, USA (December 2019)
  • ‘A Symposium on the History of Art’ / Conference Series: The Annual Graduate Symposium – The Frick Collection & The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University / Presented at: The Frick Collection & The Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, NY, USA (April 2018 & April 2019)
  • The Art of the Network: Visualising Social Relationships, 1400 – 1600‘ / Annual Renaissance Postgraduate Student Symposium, Courtauld Institute of Art (April 2017)
  • ‘Eternal Painting? The Meanings and Materiality of Copper Supports’ / Session at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Conference, Chicago (March 2017)

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