Event Title

The Balue Nielli: Intercultural Exchange and Conspicuous Consumption in 15th-century France and Italy

Presenter Information

Brenna Larson, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A254

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-25-2014 2:45 PM

End Date

4-25-2014 3:45 PM

Abstract

In the second half of the 15th century, the French Cardinal Jean Balue (c. 1421–1491) commissioned a lavish set of niello silver book covers decorated with New Testament scenes and emblazoned with his coat of arms. Now divided between the Cleveland Museum of Art and Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the nielli are a window into the confluence of political, artistic, and trade networks among the Valois court, the Vatican, and Florence. This study examines the possible dating of the covers, the nature of the manuscript they bound, the niello as an understudied medium, and Cardinal Balue’s identity as a patron in France and Rome.

Notes

Session II, Panel 8 - Enigmatic Art Objects: Case Studies of Social Practice, Tricksters, and Patronage
Moderator: Susan Kane, Mildred C. Jay Professor of Art and Classical Archaeology

Major

Art History

Advisor(s)

Erik Inglis, Art History

Project Mentor(s)

Erik Inglis, Art History
Christina Neilson, Art History

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Apr 25th, 2:45 PM Apr 25th, 3:45 PM

The Balue Nielli: Intercultural Exchange and Conspicuous Consumption in 15th-century France and Italy

Science Center, A254

In the second half of the 15th century, the French Cardinal Jean Balue (c. 1421–1491) commissioned a lavish set of niello silver book covers decorated with New Testament scenes and emblazoned with his coat of arms. Now divided between the Cleveland Museum of Art and Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the nielli are a window into the confluence of political, artistic, and trade networks among the Valois court, the Vatican, and Florence. This study examines the possible dating of the covers, the nature of the manuscript they bound, the niello as an understudied medium, and Cardinal Balue’s identity as a patron in France and Rome.