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Jacopo Bassano and the Flood of Feltre

April 18, 2022 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

A landscape painting representing a flood, with Virgin and Child and saints in the clouds above.
Jacopo Bassano, The Flood of the Colmeda, 1576. Photo taken by Luigi Baldin.

James Pilgrim

Solmsen Fellow (2021-2022)

Ph.D., History of Art, Johns Hopkins University


Painted by the Venetian artist-engineer Jacopo Bassano in 1576, The Flood of the Colmeda commemorates the devastating 1564 inundation of Feltre, a small town located in the mountains to the north of Venice. Drawing attention to ways in which Bassano’s altarpiece mobilizes the insights that emerged during an urgent debate about the unintended consequences of accelerating deforestation and expanded cultivation that unfolded in the town in the 1560-70s, this presentation will provide an introduction to a project which argues that Bassano’s rustic imagery is best understood as a response not to the aesthetic tastes of the Venetian elite, but instead to a highly specific constellation of social, political, technological, and environmental factors that shaped life on the periphery of the Venetian mainland empire during the early modern period.


James Pilgrim received his PhD in the history of art from Johns Hopkins in 2020. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Renaissance Society of America, the New York Public Library, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts (CASVA), where he was a Paul Mellon Predoctoral Fellow. His work on early modern Italian art has appeared in the Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz and Grey Room. A forthcoming article Renaissance Quarterly explores the influence of philosophical skepticism upon the early work of the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens


April 18, 2022
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
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