Dr Alessandro Scafi

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Contact details

Name:
Dr Alessandro Scafi
Position:
Lecturer in Medieval and Renaissance Cultural History
Institute:
Warburg Institute
Location:
WOBURN SQUARE, LONDON WC1H 0AB
Phone:
020 7862 8949
Email address:
Alessandro.Scafi@sas.ac.uk
Website:
http://warburg.sas.ac.uk/institute/staff_directory.htm

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Early Modern, History of art, Medieval History, Modern History , Political Institutions
Regions:
Europe
Summary of research interests and expertise:

Research
My research interests over the last years have been varied but all are firmly grounded in a common theme: the way in which spiritual beliefs not only shaped contemporary world views but were also fundamental to cultural expression and political activities. My work to date has been in the following areas:

The notion of the earthly paradise: I investigated this topic whilst writing my doctoral dissertation on
The notion of the earthly paradise from the Patristic era to the fifteenth century (Warburg Institute, 1999) and have since studied in more depth and over a wider chronological span whilst preparing my book Mapping Paradise: A History of Heaven on Earth (London: British Library; Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006; Winner: 2006 Awards for Excellence, Association of American Publishers; Italian transl. Milan: Bruno Mondadori, 2007). I now intend to complete a nuanced exploration of the ways in which between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Christian theologians have imagined the perfect condition of Adam and Eve before the Fall.

History of Cartography and Sacred Geography: I have a strong interest in the ways in which religion and geography intersect and interact, particularly in the context of medieval and early modern sacred geography. I maintained my interests in a number of related aspects of medieval and Renaissance cartography, including the shift from medieval to Renaissance mapping; musical iconography on medieval and Renaissance maps; the representation of non-Christian religious traditions; allegorical cartography in the early modern period. I have worked on the Hereford, Ebstorf and Psalter maps, the Fra Mauro World Map, the Kunstmann II Map.

Literature on journeys to the otherworld: I devoted particular attention to a little known text by Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, the Dialogus de somnio quodam, which I translated from Latin into Italian and for which I wrote a detailed commentary (Turin: Aragno, 2004). I have also a strong interest in Dante. I have been working in connection with the Centro Dantesco in Ravenna, participating in many of their initiatives and supervising theses on Dante at their library.

Medieval and Renaissance views of the temporal and spiritual powers and their history: I have researched a number of inter-related subjects including papal art patronage in Church Jubilee years and medieval Christian ideas about pilgrimage and death. I have received a grant (with Dr Avril Maddrell, University of the West of England, Dr Heather Walton, University of Glasgow and Dr Veronica Della Dora, University of Bristol) from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (within the Religion and Society Scheme) for a research project on pilgrimage practices in different Christian traditions. I have focussed on pilgrimage through mental landscapes in the Roman Catholic tradition (at the monastery of Subiaco, Italy, in particular).

History of utopian thought and cultural interchange in the early modern age: I have worked on Filarete’s ideal city (Sforzinda) and on the relationships between Italy and Hungary in the Renaissance.

Aby Warburg: Warburg’s interest in musical iconography (a topic so far ignored by Warburg scholars) and Warburg’s involvement in World War I.

Languages:
Spoken Written
German Intermediate Intermediate
Italian Fluent Fluent
Latin Fluent Fluent
French Fluent Intermediate
Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
12-Jul-2017 ‘Luther’s Paradise Flooded’, in Luther, Kolumbus und die Folgen: Welt im Wandel, 1500-1600

Chapters

 Nürnberg: Germanische Nationalmuseum

03-Jul-2017 Chet Van Duzer and Ilya Dines, Apocalyptic Cartography: Thematic Maps and the End of the World in a Fifteenth-Century Manuscript

Review

 The International Journal for the History of Cartography - Volume 69, 2017 - Issue 1

01-Mar-2017 Warburg and D’Annunzio in Defence of Truth: on Modern Literature and Alleged Jewishness

Journal articles

Schifanoia - Fabrizio Serra

01-Jul-2016 Luciano Gargan, Dante, la sua biblioteca e lo Studio di Bologna

Chapters

European Society for Textual Scholarship

01-Jan-2014 ‘Cosmographical Maps in the Enlightenment’

Articles

in The History of Cartography, IV, Cartography in the European Enlightenment, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

01-Jan-2014 ‘The Cultural and Social Significance of Globes’

Articles

in The History of Cartography, IV, Cartography in the European Enlightenment, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

01-Jan-2013 Maps of Paradise

Monographs

London: British Library; Chicago: University of Chicago Press

01-Jan-2013 ‘Mapping the End: The Apocalypse in Medieval Cartography’

Journal articles

in Literature and Theology , special issue: Apocalypse Now and Then: Prophecy and Imagination from the Anglo-Saxons to the Post-Moderns

01-Jan-2013 Mapping the Nile in the Middle Ages

Articles

in The Nile in Medieval Thought, eds Pavel Blazek, Charles Burnett, Alessandro Scafi, London: The Warburg Institute

01-Jan-2013 The Nile in Medieval Thought

Edited Book

with Pavel Blazek, Charles Burnett, London: The Warburg Institute

01-Jan-2013 “Sacred crossroads: landscape and aesthetics in contemporary Christian pilgrimage (Photo essay)”

Articles

with Veronica della Dora, Avril Maddrell), in The Changing World Religion Map, ed. Stanley D. Brunn, w York-Berlin: Springer

01-Jan-2013 ‘La firma di Filarete sulla porta bronzea di San Pietro: la gioia della creazione artistica’, La Basilica di San Pietro: fortuna e immagine, ed. Giovanni Morello, Rome, 2013

Chapters

01-Jan-2012 ‘La barba del santo e la forma del mondo nel chiostro di Imola’, L’immagine del Santo: Iconografia francescana nel chiostro dell’Osservanza di Imola, ed. Barbara

Chapters

01-Jan-2012 ‘L’Atlante della Memoria: sinfonia di immagini per un teatro di frammenti’, Engramma, 100, 2012

Articles

01-Jan-2012 ‘Le premier homme comme microcosme et préfiguration du Christ: la Mappemonde d’Ebstorf et le nom d’Adam’, Adam: le premier homme, ed. Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, Florence, 2012

Chapters

01-Jan-2012 ‘“Kulturwissenschaftliches Kuriosum aus dem Gebiete der Musikgeschichte”: Aby Warburg tra scienza della cultura e storia della musica’, Schifanoia, 42-43, 2012

Chapters

01-Jan-2012 ‘Le premier homme comme microcosme et préfiguration du Christ: la Mappemonde d’Ebstorf et le nom d’Adam’

Articles

in Micrologus. Adam. Le premier homme. ed. Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, Florence, Sismel, pp. 183-197

01-Jan-2011 Finishing the Unfinished: Paradise in Fausto da Longiano's Vernacular Translation of Piccolomini's Cosmographia (1544)’

Articles

in Mantova e il Rinascimento italiano: Studi in onore di David S. Chambers, eds Philippa Jackson and Guido Rebecchini, Mantua: Editoriale Sometti, pp. 259-270.

01-Jan-2011 ‘Filarete’s ideal city of Sforzinda: Architecture between Nature and Society’

Articles

in Die Stadt- Achse und Zentrum der Welt – The City: Axis and Centre of the World, eds Matthias Riedl and Tilo Schabert, Eranos, Neue Folge, Band 16, Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, pp. 15-33.

01-Jan-2011 ‘After Ptolemy: The Mapping of Eden’

Articles

in Ptolemy’s Geography: The Renaissance, eds Zur Shalev and Charles Burnett, London-Turin: The Warburg Institute-Nino Aragno, pp. 187-206

01-Jan-2011 Alla scoperta del paradiso: Un Atlante del cielo sulla terra, (Palermo, 2011)

Monographs

01-Jan-2011 ‘La Vergine Protettrice’, in Tommaso Castaldi, La Madonna della Misericordia. L'iconografia e la sua diffusione nell'arte di Bologna e della Romagna nel Tre e nel Quattrocento, Imola (BO), 2011

Chapters

01-Jan-2010 -‘Teorie italiane sull’arte: la bellezza dei fiori e il Rinascimento’

Articles

Enciclopedia della Cultura Italiana, eds Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza, Alberto Piazza, Vittorio Bo, vol. X, L’arte e il visuale, ed. Marina Wallace, Turin: Utet, pp. 394-415.

01-Jan-2010 ‘Atlantis’

Articles

in The Classical Tradition, eds Anthony Grafton and Salvatore Settis, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 100-102

01-Jan-2010 L’abbraccio al mondo dell’urbe: Roma e la Chiesa di Roma

in Enciclopedia della Cultura Italiana, eds Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza, Alberto Piazza, Vittorio Bo, vol. X, L’arte e il visuale, ed. Marina Wallace. Turin: Utet, pp. 176-195.

01-Jan-2010 Il rosso purpureo di Roma: cardinali e mecenatismo

in Enciclopedia della Cultura Italiana, eds Luigi Luca Cavalli Sforza, Alberto Piazza, Vittorio Bo, vol. X, L’arte e il visuale, ed. Marina Wallace. Turin: Utet, pp. 196-217

2010 Epilogue: A Heaven on Earth

Epilogue of Paradise in Antiquity: Jewish and Christian views, eds Markus Bockmuehl and Guy G. Stroumsa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

01-Jan-2009 Warburg and Böcklin: Myths in Word and Image’

Articles

in Towards a Science of Art History: J.J. Tikkanen and Art Historical Scholarship in Europe, [Taidehistoriallisia tutkimuksia (Studies in Art History), 38 (2009)], Helsinki: Taidehistorian Seura, pp. 137-147

01-Jan-2009 Nel mondo dei sogni: Enea Silvio Piccolomini e l’uso letterario delle teorie oniriche tardo-medievali’

Articles

in Pio II Piccolomini: Il papa del Rinascimento a Siena, ed. Fabrizio Nevola, Siena: Protagon and Comune di Siena, pp. 227-244.

01-Jan-2008 ‘Where has utopia gone?’

Journal articles

Obshaya Tetrad, The Journal of Moscow School of Political Studies, 3-4/46 (2008), pp. 137-147 (in Russian).

01-Jan-2008 Soggetti a carattere musicale nella cartografia europea tra Medioevo e Rinascimento’

Articles

in Itineraria: Letteratura di viaggio e conoscenza del mondo dall’Antichità al Rinascimento, 6, Florence: Sismel, Edizioni del Galluzzo, pp. 121-144.

2008 The African paradise of Cardinal Carvajal : new light on the 'Kunstmann II Map,' 1502-1506

Offprint from: Renaissance and Reformation = Renaissance et Réforme. 31.2

01-Jan-2007 . ‘Pio II e la cartografia: Un papa e un mappamondo tra Medioevo e Rinascimento’

Articles

in Enea Silvio Piccolomini: Poeta laureatus, Pontifex Maximus, eds Manlio Sodi and Arianna Antoniutti, Rome-Vatican City: Shakespeare and Company2; Libreria Editrice Vaticana, pp. 239-264.

01-Jan-2007 Onesto riso e dolce gioco: Dante, l’Eden e la cartografia medievale’

Journal articles

in Letture Classensi: Dante e l’arte, ed. Claudia Giuliani (Ravenna: Longo, 2007), pp. 59-82, 129-136

01-Jan-2007 ‘Europe and the Mediterranean: Medieval West Geography and World View’

Articles

in The Oxford Companion to World Exploration, ed. David Buisseret, 2 vols, New York: Oxford University Press, I, pp. 271-273

01-Jan-2007 ‘Medieval West Mapmaking’

Articles

in The Oxford Companion to World Exploration, ed. David Buisseret, 2 vols, New York: Oxford University Press, I, pp. 273-274.

01-Jan-2007 Il paradiso in terra: Mappe del giardino dell’Eden

Monographs

Milan: Bruno Mondadori

01-Jan-2007 ‘L’enigma di un musico: Aby Warburg e l’iconografia musicale’

Journal articles

Musica e Storia, 2007, XV/1, pp. 163-204.

01-Jan-2006 Mapping Paradise: A History of Heaven on Earth

Monographs

London: British Library; Chicago: University of Chicago Press

01-Jan-2006 'Defining Mappae Mundi’

Articles

in The Hereford World Map: Medieval World Maps and their Context, ed. Paul D. A. Harvey, London: British Library, pp. 345-354.

01-Jan-2006 ‘Un Senese in Paradiso: Il viaggio letterario di Enea Silvio Piccolomini nell’aldilà di Dante e Virgilio’

Articles

in Conferenze su Pio II di Luca D’Ascia, Arnod Esch, Alessandro Scafi, Francesco Ricci nel sesto centenario della nascita di Enea Silvio Piccolomini (1405-2005), ed. Enzo Mecacci, Siena: Accademia degli Intronati, pp. 67-108.

01-Jan-2005 Sacred geography

Articles

[with Catherine Delano Smith], in Sacred Places on Maps, ed. Zsolt Török, Pannonhalma: Pannonhalmi F?apátság, pp. 33-54, 121-140.

01-Jan-2004 Enea Silvio Piccolomini, Dialogo su un sogno

Edited Book

Turin: Nino Aragno

2002 À la recherche du paradis perdu : les mappemondes du XIIIe siècle

Offprint from: Ruptures: de la discontinuité dans la vie artistique / edited by Jean Galard

Publications available on SAS-space:

Date Details
Dec-2011 Mapping the Religious Mind: India and the Medieval Geography of Religion

NonPeerReviewed

Religion and geography intersect and interact, particularly in the context of medieval cartography. India was represented on medieval world maps as a country of wisdom and a land of opulence but its depiction has to be seen within the wider context of the Christian vision of history.

Finishing the Unfinished: Paradise in Fausto da Longiano's Vernacular Translation of Piccolomini's Cosmographia (1544)

PeerReviewed

Epilogue: a heaven on earth

PeerReviewed

The Image of Persia in Western Medieval Cartography

PeerReviewed

The African Paradise of Cardinal Carvajal: New Light on the “Kunstmann II Map,” 1502–1506.

PeerReviewed

Research Projects & Supervisions

Research projects:

Details
Landscape Aesthetics, Meaning and Experience in Christian Pilgrimage

with Dr Avril Maddrell, University of the West of England, Heather Walton, University of Glasgow, and Dr Veronica Della Dora, University of Bristol
Arts and Humanities Research Council 2010-2011

Current PhD topics supervised:

Dates Details
From: 01-Oct-2011
Until:
On the Cusp of Fabula and Historia: The Myth of Alexander the Great in Italy between the Fifteenth and the Sixteenth Century

Claudia Daniotti, with Jill Kraye

From: 01-Oct-2011
Until:
The Cultural Policy of the Catholic Church in Italy during the Second Half of the Fifteenth Century

Paolo Sachet, with Jill Kraye

From: 01-Oct-2011
Until:
Ecphrasis from Hellenistic Poetry to Cinquecento Venetian Painting

Daisy Dunn, co-supervision with UCL

Consultancy & Media
Media experience:
Yes
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