George Washington by Hiram Powers

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Illusory Pregnancy

Lane Eagles. "Illusory Pregnancy: Drapery and the Renaissance Female Body." Dissertation, University of Washington, in progress.

Women in Italian Renaissance paintings often appear pregnant, but the shape is an illusion. My dissertation examines early modern images of women that exhibit a seemingly pregnant body type. The central question my dissertation asks is: why was a protruding midsection, often read by scholars and lay art viewers alike as indicative of pregnancy, an accepted trope of female pictorial representation in the early modern period? My project cuts across the disciplines of women’s and gender studies, dress history, and visual culture studies to establish an iconography of the mysteriously "pregnant" female body.

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Status of Research or Work: 
In progress
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