This study examines the shifting definitions regarding the status and reception of classical sculpture, architecture, and painting during the Italian Renaissance in Rome, Italy (1460-1550 CE). The academic tradition of the Renaissance has been predicated on the early modern fascination with antiquity and its rebirth. The definition of antiquity, however, was neither single nor codified, and these various approaches to its meaning are not well understood. My Senior Independent Study aims to understand how these shifting and diverse perceptions of the ancient past became organized to a singular meaning through the proto-archaeological movement. Three case studies – Laocoön, Torso Belvedere, and the frescoes in the Domus Aurea – reframe shifting moments of intellectual history in understanding the past during the Renaissance. Necessary to this study is the work of artist Pirro Ligorio who studied an array of ancient Roman and Egyptian sculpture, painting, and architecture that influenced his own art. The diversity within Ligorio’s art assists in informing the definitions of antiquity as understood by Italian Renaissance artists.


Cosgriff, Tracy

Second Advisor

Navarro-Farr, Olivia


Art and Art History; Archaeology


Arts and Humanities


Italian Renaissance, Rome, Nascent Archaeology, Pirro Ligorio, Laocoön, Torso Belvedere, Landscape Archaeology, Painting, Frescoes, Sculpture, Grotesque, Stucco, Egypt, Domus Aurea, Antiquity, Art History, Archaeology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2020 Lauren Ashley Kozlowski