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Members' Research Report Archive

The Visual Politics of Constantinian Imagery

Silvia Tita, Research Associate, 2014–2015


Francesco Angeloni, L’historia augusta da Giulio Cesare a Costantino il Magno, 2nd ed. (Rome, 1685), detail of page 305 showing coins from the Constantinian period. National Gallery of Art Library, Washington

My project focuses on the renewed interest in Constantinian imagery in the early modern period, paying special attention to the visual representation of the concocted and controversial event known as the Donation of Constantine. Although the document of the donation was traditionally associated with the papal court, Constantine’s legacy was cultivated by other European political and religious factions in this period dominated by various versions of ecclesiastical history. Consequently, this project concerns works of art in various media produced over almost two centuries within the papal milieu as well as within the larger European context, questioning the proliferation of Constantinian imagery and the strategies employed in creating it.