Overlooked in traditional studies of Italian art, cassone painting was nonetheless a popular genre in Early Renaissance Tuscany. In this study, Cristelle Baskins questions the traditional readings of these decorated chests as merely didactic or moralizing. She argues that the pieces performed an important role in the socialization and gender formation of women during the Renaissance. She demonstrates that cassone, which invariably depict exemplary women from classical mythology, invited a range of responses, ranging from coercion to pleasure.
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