Courtright, Nicola Chercheur invitée dans le domaine "Histoire de l'architecture" (avril-mai 2013)

Nicola Courtright, who received her B.A. at Oberlin College, her M.A. at Yale, and a Ph.D at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University in 1990, has taught the art and architecture of early modern Europe in the Department of Art and the History of Art at Amherst College since 1989. She has also taught at the University of Delaware and Princeton University. Professor Courtright has received numerous grants to pursue her research, including a Fulbright, a Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome, American Council of Learned Societies and American Association of University Women fellowships, and a research fellowship at the Clark Art Institute. Her publications span a range of areas within early modern European art history, including the art and architecture of the Vatican Palace, Bernini sculpture, Louis XIV's bedroom in Versailles, and Rembrandt drawings. Her book, The Papacy and the Art of Reform in Sixteenth-Century Rome : Gregory XIII and the Tower of the Winds in the Vatican (New York : Cambridge University Press, 2003), was awarded honorable mention for the the Premio Salimbeni per la Storia e la Critica d'Arte. Professor Courtright was a member of the College Art Association Board of Directors beginning in 2000, Vice President of Publications from 2004-6, and president from 2006-8. Currently she is the Editor in chief of Grove Art Online and a member of the board of the American Council of Learned Societies.

The Papacy and the Art of Reform in Sixteenth-Century Rome : Gregory XIII's Tower of the Winds in the Vatican, series “Monuments of Papal Rome,” ed. Joseph Connors and Irving Lavin, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge and New York, 2003.

“The King's Sculptures in the Queen's Garden at Fontainebleau,” in Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque : A Cat's Cradle for Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, ed. David A. Levine and Jack W. Freiberg (New York : Italica Press, 2010) : 129-148.

“From Gregory XIII to Louis XIV : The Art and Politics of Reform in France,” in Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome, ed. Vernon Hyde Minor, 54 (2009) : 3-30.

“A New Place for Queens in Early Modern France,” in The Politics of Space : European Courts ca. 1500-1750, ed.

Marcello Fantoni, George Gorse, and Malcolm Smuts (Rome : Bulzoni, 2009), Chapter X : 267-292.

“A Garden and a Gallery at Fontainebleau : Imagery of Rule for Medici Queens,” The Court Historian 10.1 (2005) : 55-84.

“Imitation, Innovation, and Renovation in the Counter Reformation : Landscapes all'antica in the Vatican Tower of the Winds,” in Antiquity and its Interpreters, ed. Alina Payne, Ann Kuttner, and Rebekah Smick (Cambridge and New York : Cambridge University Press, 2000) : 126-142.

“Origins and Meanings of Rembrandt's Late Drawing Style,” The Art Bulletin, 78 (September 1996) : 485-510.

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Her current book project, Art and the Invention of Queenly Authority in Early Modern France, examines how gardens, art and architecture in royal residences were crafted to support the authority of queens in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France, women who were not officially sanctioned to rule but were nevertheless often in positions of authority.

In the book, she contends that beginning with Henri IV, queens were intentionally integrated into the imagery and politics of rule to paint a new picture of the queen's shared sovereignty with the king. During this period, queens' domiciles – including queens' wings in royal residences – and the imagery in them expanded greatly. Henri IV first conceived of crafting a picture of the queen's authority in permanent visual form as a complement to his own position. Henrican monarchic ideals incorporating the queen were first represented in monumental scale in the Galerie de Diane (now destroyed) that Henri IV commissioned to be built and decorated at the royal château in Fontainebleau ; indeed, a significant way in which this gallery departed from the earlier norms as an exclusively male space was that it was dedicated to the queen. Subsequently, expanded queens' domiciles featured décor that not only portrayed historical virtuous women or goddesses but also dovetailed with the subjects in the king's apartments to present an unusual vision of sovereignty. In her study, she suggests that this royal sanction for a more authoritative queen subsequently affected ritual, ceremony, and other political practices, and that the queen inhabited a central role within the ceremonial, symbolic and political structures at the heart of the French court and state.

The book, comparing programs for French queens to earlier royal and ducal imagery, both within and outside France, charts changes over time beginning with some of Catherine de Médicis's significant spaces (above all in the gardens and château of Fontainebleau, the birthplace and baptismal site of many royal children, continues with areas within Marie de Médicis's and her daughter-in-law Anne d'Autriche's residences (including Marie's biographical cycle for her Luxembourg Palace, as well as Fontainebleau and the Louvre), and concludes with a selection of Louis XIV's programs in the Tuileries, Louvre and Versailles that the author argues explicitly incorporate his mother Anne and his consort Marie-Thérèse as part of a political program. The book maintains that these domiciles and apartments were intimately related to programs in the kings' realms, and thus became the locus of important political claims for queens, queen regents, and queen mothers as well as kings.