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
• Garfield Weston Scholarship

My research aims at reassessing the art-historical significance of Lorenzo di Pietro, known as Vecchietta.
Despite being always considered a pivotal figure in Renaissance Siena, the last monographic study on the artist dates back to 1937. This comes hardly surprising: a painter, sculptor, illuminator, goldsmith and architect, Vecchietta was once rightfully called ‘the least approachable of all Sienese artists’ (J. Pope-Hennessy). In the twentieth century, all other major artists from Quattrocento Siena have been devoted unflagging scholarly attention – and this played out in terms of attributions too. Consequently, Vecchietta, this crucial yet overlooked artist, has become more of means by which to explain other phenomena, rather than an artist worth attention per se
Scholars have thus set forth a formulaic reading of the artist’s career, which does not account for the subtlety of his idiosyncratic visual grammar and syntax. Born in 1410, the artist is not documented in Siena for almost thirty years. Trained, in all likelihood, in a Florentine-minded context; back in his hometown, he built a vast workshop, which became a touchstone for an entire generation of Sienese artists, thus scattering the seeds of “the Renaissance” over the Sienese soil. Donatello’s presence in Siena pushes Vecchietta’s innovative vocabulary even further, and works as a watershed in his artistic development, turning him into a sculptor more than a painter.
Time is long overdue to concentrate on Vecchietta alone, on his artistic personality, thus putting to test both the artist’s career, and, inevitably, the Sienese Quattrocento as a whole, as they have been narrated thus far.


  • MA History of Art – The Courtauld Institute of Art
    (tutor: Dr Scott Nethersole), distinction
  • BA Humanities – Università degli Studi di Milano
    (tutor: Prof. Giovanni Agosti), 110/110 cum laude

Research interests

• Sienese Quattrocento
• 1430s in Tuscany
• Fifteenth-century Rome
• Art in Italy in the twentieth century
• Caravaggio
• Counter-Reformation Cardinals

Recent publications

• ‘Caravaggio a Malta’, in P. Aiello (ed.), Il vero Caravaggio, Milan, Officina Libraria, forthcoming (early 2018).

• ‘The iconography of Vecchietta’s bronze Christ in Siena’, The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, forthcoming publication (vol. LXXX, Dec. 2017).

• ‘Per Carlo Borromeo e la sua collezione di antichità’, in G. Agosti, J. Stoppa (eds), Un seminario sul Manierismo in Lombardia, Milan, Officina Libraria, pp. 53-79 (in press).

• ‘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, Officina Libraria, 2014, pp. 28-33.

Conference papers

  • Caravaggio a Malta, Milan, Università degli Studi, May 2017.
  • Leonardo e Bernardino Luini nel Novecento, Naples, Convento di San Domenico Maggiore, September 2014. 


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