Manifesting manhood: the regulation of the male body in English portraits, c. 1587-1595 Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Thomas, Leah Daryl
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Art and Art History
  • This thesis discusses the construction of manhood via conventions of bodily regulation in English portraits during the late sixteenth century by considering a c. 1590 portrait of an unknown man at the North Carolina Museum of Art and its body of comparanda. Arguably, this portrait can be placed within a wider dialogue that understood manhood to be an imperative shared by all men, but nearly impossible to achieve due to the difficulty of maintaining the necessary physiological balance. Consequently, this thesis argues that portraits comprised an important platform on which men could construct, and thus achieve, manhood. This visual manifestation of manhood was fashioned by drawing on a repertoire of readable conventions of regulation that derived from and perpetuated a homosocial environment. By reading the portrait of the unknown man in this way, we can understand what type of man the subject wished to portray himself as, despite his anonymity.
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  • In Copyright
  • String, Tatiana
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2014

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