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Armor in Renaissance Court Culture

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In Giorgio Vasari’s "Christ Carrying the Cross," the three Roman soldiers wear elaborate helmets, with visors in the form of grotesque masks and monstrous beaks and peaks with elegant crests or flamboyant plumes. These fantastic armaments appear to represent imperial Roman garb as imagined by Vasari. However, images of elaborately-worked helmets and muscled breastplates painted by Vasari and his contemporaries were not directly derived from antiquity. Doctoral student Chassica Kirchhoff will explore the relationship between works of armor and their depictions. She will also consider how artists and armorers encountered and drew upon one another’s work in the context of the Italian court.

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