Arts of Arcadia: Italian Renaissance Pastoral and Ecology
Jakub Koguciuk graduated with a Ph.D. in History of Art and Renaissance Studies at Yale University in 2019. His dissertation focused on the visual arts in the circle of the Neapolitan poet Jacopo Sannazaro. Research for this project has been supported by the Fondazione Cini in Venice, the Newberry Library in Chicago and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. He also participated in museum exhibitions at the Yale University Art Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Before his doctorate, Jakub received a BA in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art.
This book studies the impact of Jacopo Sannazaro’s Arcadia, a foundational text in the development of the modern pastoral, on the visual arts of its time. Placing Sannazaro in the context of a network of creative collaborators and readers throughout Italy, the book traces the development of the pastoral mode through a variety of media, from painting and drawing to manuscript illumination and prints. In particular, the book studies pastoral ekphrasis: an underappreciated site of art theory in the Renaissance. Containing analyses of passages of long description by Theocritus and Virgil as well as Sannazaro and other Renaissance poets, Arts of Arcadia treats fictional images described by poets as programmatic. In addition to paintings by Giorgione and Titian, the project analyses works by artists not usually associated with the pastoral mode, such as paintings by Albrecht Dürer and manuscripts illuminated by Bartolomeo Sanvito. Arts of Arcadia addresses the pastoral as emergent in a sophisticated intellectual network, where figures such as Aldus Manutius and Lodovico Dolce made an impact on literature as well as the visual arts. Finally, in environmental terms, the pastoral of Sannazaro’s time emerges as a crucial episode in the history of ecology and nature.