Mathilda Blanquet, M.A.
Photo: Caroline Ruiz
Mathilda Blanquet studied art history at the Universities of Toulouse Jean Jaurès, Paris I -Panthéon Sorbonne and at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris. Since 2017, she is pursuing a PhD Project at Toulouse Jean Jaurès within the Laboratoire Framespa and since May 2021 she is a Junior-Fellow at the CAS “Imaginaria of Force”. Her projected doctoral thesis, intitled “Artifices de décence et érotisation du corps dans la sculpture italienne (Rome – Florence, XVIe – XVIIe siècles)”, is supervised by Prof. Dr. Frank Fehrenbach (University of Hamburg) and Prof. Pascal Julien (University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès). From 2018 to 2020, she has been Lecturer in Renaissance Art at the Departement of art history at the University Jean Jaurès, where she currently occupying a post as Reasercher-Teaching Assistant for the academic year 2020/2021. Together with Juliette Souperbie (M.A.), she is organizing an international symposium which will explore issues relating to the uses of the body in political art of Early modern time ("Body & Power: The body in political art in early modern times") as well as a workshop on demonstrations of force and violence in Early Modern Art (within the Framespa seminar "Rapport de force" co-hosted with Juliette Souperbie: ‘Combats métaphoriques : des corps en lutte dans l’iconographie politique de la Renaissance’). Mathilda Blanquet received a Daniel Arasse Scholarship in September 2020 to conduct her research in Rome at the Villa Medici - Académie française de Rome and at the Ecole française de Rome. Her PhD research has also been supported several times by the INHA and the DAAD.
- "Suggestion plutôt que monstration, quand la sensualité se fait subreptice dans la sculpture italienne des XVIe et XVIIe siècles" in Thierry Verdier: Chair et bonne chère à la Renaissance, les 6° rencontres de Bournazel, Actes du colloque international de Bournazel, PU Montpellier et Editions Buissons, Dezember 2019, pp. 128-145.
- "Asservir la femme: quand ascendances politique et sexuelle s’unissent dans la sculpture florentine du XVIe siècle", Dossier "Instrumentalisation du féminin à la Renaissance : la femme comme faire-valoir dans la propagande du XVIe siècle" in: L'art par Contrast, n° 3, 2019, pp. 28 - 36.
Research project: From the Ephebe to the Athlete: Aesthetic and Semiological Variations of potentia in Florentine and Roman Sculpture of the Cinquecento and Seicento
In early modern time, the exaltation of power - both spiritual and political - has been made through the prism of statues in which the male body is represented strong and magnified, in the same manner as that of ancient gods, heroes and rulers. These anatomies are the embodiment of the Latin concept of potentia, which unites under this term the notions of force, political power and domination. This perception of the heroic body is indeed derived from Antique statuary. Sculpture is therefore simultaneously imbued with a glorious reference to a classical, impetuous and sublime imagination, which justifies the prevalence of this medium to embody the virtues of force and power of the sovereignty.
The project will focus on the anthropological dimension of sculpture, as an obvious symbolic referent to express and to figure force - physical, political or moral- and preeminence as an expression of a cardinal virtue. The apparent dichotomy of this aesthetic will be questioned as two tendencies have prevailed in the representation of the forceful and virile body: sometimes the ephebe is portrayed, sometimes the athlete.
It must also be understood in the context of both commission and display. The arousal of the senses and emotions in the sculpted manifestation of potentia will be studied, with respect to the appropriation of Ciceronian rhetoric and the perlocutionary purposes of art (docere, delectare, movere). Expressiveness, as much emotional as sensitive, will be taken into account as much in relation to the plastic specificities of Sculpture as in the reception of the artworks.