This path is a commentary on the book, written by Caterina Agostini on 11 May 2022.

Medieval Padua: Digital Cultural Heritage: Medieval Padua Art in the UNESCO World Heritage List

ICMS Kalamazoo 2022 Presentation

Medieval and cultural history have come to the fore recently, with the celebration of 14th-century art in Italy, when fresco cycles within Padua city walls were inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list in July 2021 ( Padua, located in the north-east of Italy, was named ‘Urbs Picta’ or ‘The Painted City’, in recognition of the main artists working on medieval fresco cycles in the 1300s – Giotto, Guariento di Arpo, Giusto de’ Menabuoi, Altichiero da Zevio, Jacopo Avanzi, and Jacopo da Verona. As medieval artists, patronage and schools have been ascertained, the question of local and global cultural heritage, however, invites further inquiries to examine the role of global collections and global medieval studies and narratives. The digital project I propose, “Digital Cultural Heritage: Medieval Padua Art in the UNESCO World Heritage List,” remedies this gap by analyzing fresco cycles in my hometown, Padua, as part of a larger cultural phenomenon in Italy, and current medieval studies worldwide.

By addressing advanced undergraduate, and graduate students, this project has a pedagogical approach and strategy integrating a visual section, and a mapping section as well. We will collect information on medieval artists and schools, and also current cultural heritage institutions where artworks are located. Next, we will build geospatial datasets and integrate provenance notes for collection artifacts, in light of the Getty Provenance Index Database ( to trace artists’ work, training, and schools, and visualize such information through contemporary and historical maps from the David Rumsey Map Collection ( Outcomes include a digital collection and exhibition, with International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) digital images allowing for deep zoom, comparison, and annotation of images. Artworks made in Italy, and showcased worldwide, offer ideal frames for geospatial investigations of art in Padua, the Veneto region and Italy, and world-class museum collections today.

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