The material culture of children and childhood in Bologna, 1550-1600

Robinson, Michele Nicole (2017) The material culture of children and childhood in Bologna, 1550-1600. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

[img] PDF (Volume 1. Text) - Published Version
Download (1MB)


This thesis examines children and childhood in early modern Bologna through the lens of material culture. In particular, it considers how domestic spaces, objects and images informed the formation and expression of identities in relation to gender, social class and religion between 1550 and 1600. Although the early modern home has recently been the focus of important and ground breaking studies, little attention has been paid to how children experienced domestic life via their relationships with material culture. One of the principle aims of this thesis is to begin to bridge this gap in our knowledge through the examination of the textiles, furnishings, images and other objects that could be found in the homes of artisans, merchants, notaries and Bologna's urban nobility.
In order to recreate a robust picture of early modern homes, an interdisciplinary approach has been taken here, which considers evidence that includes physical objects, early modern conduct books, household treatises, paintings, prints and drawings. Additionally, one of the key sources for this thesis is a collection of previously unstudied and unpublished inventories of Bolognese homes and bridal trousseaux. The analysis of these documents offers a new perspective on the Bolognese domestic interior, and, considered alongside other types of evidence, suggests how children interacted with the spaces and material culture of the home. And, as this thesis argues, children's experiences and interactions with domestic material culture were critical not only in the development of identities, but also in the reproduction of social structures, religious beliefs and ideologies around gender and class.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Art History
Subjects: D History > DG History of Italy > DG401 Medieval and modern Italy, 476- > DG461 History > DG500 By period > DG538 Modern, 1492-
H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ0503 The Family. Marriage. Home > HQ0767.8 Children. Child development Including child rearing, child life, play, socialisation, children's rights
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts > NK1700 Interior decoration. House decoration
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2017 07:54
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 07:52

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update