Where The Wild Things Are–Silenced–When you map out your next trip through Italy, consider what’s new — even if it’s really, really old.
For the past decade, a team have worked together on a massive project. They are just beginning to see the fruits of their labor. Paintings created by a variety of woman during the Italian Renaissance are nearly all restored. Their existence adds a before unknown dimension to an era celebrated for its prolific contributions to arts and culture.
How the addition of works made by women will change the landscape of the Italian Renaissance remains to be seen. The immediate impact will be noticed in museums –namely the Uffizi. Revelations of the work should reshape Art History but I would not hold my breath.
An even greater cultural impact exists that has not rocked the western world’s head to shift its perceptions. During the reign of Constantine, Rome was under the shadows of a perpetual eclipse of the sun. Under constant attack by Barbarians, the powerful capital city fell headlong into the Dark Ages.
A strategic move to diversify power points resulted in the creation of Constantinople. In contrast to Rome, the eastern city thrived. The streets bled with vibrancy and life from all walks of life that eventually cultivated a cultural mecca recognized by some scholars as a Renaissance (that predates the Italian one and may have made the Italian one possible).
So seldom does one hear of the Byzantine contribution to the West’s cultural treasure chest, despite that Plato and Euripides own their preservation to Byzantine inclusiveness. The sentiment was not reserved for secular artefacts, it is echoed through the empire’s religious icons.
Constantine insisted Pagan influences be celebrated in concert with Christian ones. Perhaps the most outstanding aspect about this is that it was Constantine who officially brought Christendom to the center of the stage of the Roman Empire.
Over time, features defining Western and Eastern empirical spheres became more palpable. In the west, Pagan contributions to art would be erased. The historical scope outlining the western world stealthily sweeps contributions from the Byzantine Empire aside like a historical glitch in time.
Woman artists of the Italian Renaissance are likely to be painted with this same brush.