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Edith Wharton and Cosmopolitanism$
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Meredith Goldsmith and Emily J. Orlando

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062815

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062815.001.0001

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Beyond the Guidebook

Beyond the Guidebook

Edith Wharton’s Rediscovery of San Vivaldo

(p.132) 6 Beyond the Guidebook
Edith Wharton and Cosmopolitanism

D. Medina Lasansky

University Press of Florida

In chapter 6, D. Medina Lasansky discusses Wharton’s role in rediscovering the sixteenth-century Franciscan sacro monte of San Vivaldo, located outside San Gimignano. Wharton wrote about the New Jerusalem site for Scribner’s as well in Italian Backgrounds. She commissioned the Florentine firm Fratelli Alinari to photograph sculptures on site, which she attributed to the Della Robbia workshop. Although not formally trained as an art historian, Wharton’s discussion of San Vivaldo shows that she was writing art history more inventive than most contemporary art historians. Of equal importance is that Wharton, like many of her female colleagues, collapsed genres (fiction, history, translation, travel writing) to write about her subjects, including San Vivaldo.

Keywords:   San Vivaldo, sacro monte, New Jerusalem, Della Robbia, San Gimignano, Franciscan, Fratelli Alinari, Italian Backgrounds, genres, art history, Scribner’s

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