Skip to Main ContentSearch Site

Professor Silva Publishes Chapter

Cover of the book

Assistant Professor of Art Joseph Silva published the chapter "Securing the Mediterranean. Cosimo I de' Medici and Portoferraio" in the journal Convivium 10.1, The Architecture of Medieval Port Cities, edited by Sarah Kowzlowksi and Kristen Streahle and published by Brepols, 2023. The chapter addresses the fortification and representation of the harbor city of Portoferraio on the island of Elba in the Mediterranean Sea by Duke of Florence Cosimo I de’ Medici in the sixteenth century. It serves as a corrective to current scholarship, which largely ignores the importance of Portoferraio in establishing Tuscany as a maritime state. An analysis of the art that defined celebrated, and promoted the acquisition and the fortification of the city itself supports its importance not only in expanding Cosimo I’s territorial presence to the sea but also in providing security to the Italian coastline from the raids of Barbary corsairs and Ottoman Turks, which was a pressing concern.

I gave the paper: "Innovation and Creative Representation: Portoferraio and Cosimo I de’ Medici” at the annual meeting of the Southeastern College Art Conference, Richmond, VA, in October 2023. The paper explored the harbor city of Portoferraio on Elba as an exemplar of fortification design in the mid-16th century, as well as the symbolic/iconographic connotations of the design as related to Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de' Medici.

At the same conference, I co-chaired the panel "Methodology and Pedagogy: The Art of Renaissance and Early Modern Italy" with Lindsay Alberts, Professor of Art History at Savannah College of Art and Design. The panel explored new methodological and pedagogical approaches in writing about and teaching the art of Renaissance and early modern Italy with specific regard to global perspectives and interconnections.

Current Exhibitions

Destination GITH glimpse into the horizon

  • Exhibition Dates: April 11 to 24, Reception: 4-6 pm, Wednesday April 17
  • The Knight Campus Art Gallery is located at 400 East Ave. Warwick, RI 02886 Room 3500, on the third floor of the round building (Enter the library on the forth floor and go down the stairs to right.)
Destination GITH glimpse into the horizon


  • Exhibition Dates: April 15 to 22, Reception: 5:30-7:30 pm, Wednesday April 17
  • The Flanagan Campus Art Gallery is located at 1762 Louisquisset Pike Lincoln, RI 02865 Room 1527, on the first floor.

Areas of Study