Giulio Dalvit - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Giulio Dalvit

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Giulio Dalvit

PhD student

Thesis: Rethinking Lorenzo di Pietro, known as Vecchietta (1410-1480)
Supervised by: Dr Scott Nethersole

Funded by:
– AHRC / Arts and Humanities Research Council (2016-19).
– Garfield Weston Scholarship (2016-19).

My Ph.D. focuses upon one of the main protagonists of Sienese fifteenth-century art — Lorenzo di Pietro, also known as Vecchietta.

A polymath artist, he is the only Sienese fifteenth-century painter to be dedicated a Life by Giorgio Vasari, and one of the very few to appear in contemporary literary sources. The first fifteenth-century Italian artist both to paint an independent self-portrait and to design a funerary chapel for himself, his ludic signatures often identify him as a painter on his sculptures and as a sculptor on his paintings. His variously interpreted associations with Masolino and Donatello situate him at the very epicentre of the Italian Renaissance, and he is typically credited with innovations in style, which would pave the way for the accomplishments of the next generation of Sienese artists; a generation, including Francesco di Giorgio Martini, that was for the most part trained in his workshop. Both in Siena and across the Italian peninsula, his achievements in different media signpost crucial loci of Italian fifteenth-century art, from Castiglione Olona to Pienza.

Despite these many accomplishments and the sizeable body of literature on the artist, the first, and last, monographic study on Vecchietta was published in 1937. Vecchietta, ‘that most unapproachable of all Sienese artists’ (J. Pope-Hennessy), twith his stylistically inconsistent intermediality seems to resist the tacit presumption of any monographic survey — that the life’s work of an artist can be presented, if not judged, as a totality.

The lack of a modern account of Vecchietta’s art has led to two interdependent processes: the ossification of our critical approach to Vecchietta; and the impoverishment of his catalogue. This has left us with the shell of an artist, whose reputation and oeuvre imperfectly align. Ultimately, Vecchietta remains remarkably ill-served by his current bibliography.

Only a monographic focus can answer the most intriguing questions posed by Vecchietta as an artist — questions about the development of his self-fashioning and his cross-mediality over his career, his relationship with Florentine masters and his role as an artist within the city. Vecchietta can thus becomes means by which to test the limits of a modern form of monograph — that which is not solely interested in patrolling the borders of an artist’s oeuvre, but also in rediscussing a whole context through the prism of an artist’s work. The broader aim thus becomes that of changing scholarly opinion on what Sienese art looked like before Siena was conquered by Florence (1559), just about the time Vasari re-set the agenda of art history in a way that ostracized Siena almost irreparably.


• 2016 – present, Ph.D. – The Courtauld Institute of Art.
• 2014-15, MA History of Art (Distinction), The Courtauld Institute of Art | tutor: Dr Scott Nethersole.
• 2011-14, BA Humanities (110/110 cum laude), Università degli Studi di Milano | tutor: Prof. Giovanni Agosti.

Work Experience

• a.y. 2019/20, Associate Lecturer: London, The Courtauld Institute of Art.
• a.y. 2019/20, Teaching Assistant: London, University College (UCL).
• 2019, Guest Researcher: Amsterdam, Universiteit van Amsterdam (UvA).
• a.y. 2018/19, Teaching Assistant: London, The Courtauld Institute of Art.
• 2016, Ayesha Bulchandani Curatorial Intern: New York, The Frick Collection.

• 2015-16, Research Assistant: Milan, Museo Poldi-Pezzoli.
• 2012-14, Exhibition Assistant: Milan, Museo del 900 / Palazzo Reale.

Conference Papers

Jean Fouquet’s Italian Stay Disproved, London, Warburg Institute (scheduled).
Hidden Signatures. An Early, Pseudo-Greek Example from Siena,
London, The Courtauld Institute of Art, May 2019.
Same Old Things? Re-Telling the Italian Renaissance, London, The Courtauld Institute of Art, May 2019 (convener).
The Old Sacristy at Santissima Annunziata (Siena): A Heap of Broken Images?, Amsterdam, Universiteit van Amsterdam, March 2019.

• Circulation of Drawings in Castiglione Olona: Masolino, Paolo Schiavo, Vecchietta, Domenico Veneziano and Cyriacus of Ancona, London, Warburg Institute, September 2018.
The Presence of Northern European Art and Artists in Fifteenth-Century Siena, London, The Courtauld Institute of Art, May 2018.
• Caravaggio a Malta, Milan, Università degli Studi, May 2017.
Carlo Borromeo a.k.a. Caos, Milan, Università degli Studi, April 2016.
• Leonardo e Bernardino Luini nel Novecento, Naples, Convento di San Domenico Maggiore, September 2014.




Research Interests

• Sienese Quattrocento
• Exchanges between “Italy” and “Northern Europe” (15th cent.)
• “Mediterranean” fifteenth-century art
• Bronze culture
• 20th-century foreign artists in Italy
• Sacred and Profane in the sixteenth century
• The notion of ‘Disegno’
• Collections of antiquities (15th / 16th century)
• Cardinals

Recent Publications

• ‘Sul davanti, il dentro, il dietro e l’intorno dell’Arliquiera del Vecchietta’, Prospettiva, in print.
• ‘The Iconography of Vecchietta’s Bronze Christ in Siena’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, LXXX, 2017, pp. 29-59.
• ‘Per Carlo Borromeo e la sua collezione di antichità’, in G. Agosti, J. Stoppa (eds), Un seminario sul Manierismo in Lombardia, Milan 2017, pp. 79-105.
• ‘New York-Milan et retour: un murales dimenticato di Keith Haring in via Laghetto?’, Concorso. Arti e Lettere, VIII, 2016, pp. 83-98.
• ‘Cairate: Santa Maria Assunta’, in G. Agosti, J. Stoppa, R. Sacchi (eds), Bernardino Luini e i suoi figli. Itinerari, Milan 2014, pp. 28-33.
• exhibition / book reviews:
Charles I, King and Collector. London, Royal Academy of Arts, «Immediations», V, 1, 2018, pp. 103-105.
– ‘G. Testori, Il Gran Teatro Montano, ed. G. Agosti, Milan 2015’, Immediations, IV, 2, 2017, pp. 106-107.


• 2017, The Burlington Magazine Foundation — Francis Haskell Memorial Fund 


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