Female personifications and masculine forms : Gender, armour and allegory in the Habsburg–Valois conflicts of sixteenth-century Europe

Journal article


Bendall, Sarah A.. (2023). Female personifications and masculine forms : Gender, armour and allegory in the Habsburg–Valois conflicts of sixteenth-century Europe. Gender and History. 35(1), pp. 42-67. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12592
AuthorsBendall, Sarah A.
Abstract

This article examines the visual and material culture of sixteenth-century elite ceremonial armours and the paradoxes inherent in using images of women to decorate them between 1525 and 1550. It argues that foreign invading forces and their allies exploited or inverted traditional gender binaries associated with the classical and humanist iconography of the Italian Renaissance, particularly its female allegorical forms, to visually signify power relationships between combatants during the Italian Wars. Rather than simply embodying masculinity, elaborate ceremonial armours with images of women are revealing of both ideals of masculinity and femininity during times of war. These portrayals were part of wider conversations about gender and power, about the strength and weaknesses of women, and, ultimately, women's inferior status to men, which were utilised in allegorical forms to make claims to authority on these elite forms of male dress.

Year2023
JournalGender and History
Journal citation35 (1), pp. 42-67
PublisherWiley
ISSN0953-5233
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12592
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85122726355
Page range42-67
FunderAustralian Research Council (ARC)
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online13 Jan 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted11 Dec 2021
Deposited06 Jun 2022
ARC Funded ResearchThis output has been funded, wholly or partially, under the Australian Research Council Act 2001
Grant IDDP180102412
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