Category Archives: Fine Arts

Silk, Gold, and Renaissance Masculinity

Timothy McCall (Villanova University) will be giving a lecture, ‘Velvet Goldmine: Silk, Gold, and Renaissance Masculinity‘ on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 in the North Theatre (room 149), Old Arts Building, at the University of Melbourne (free but registration required here). The ruling men of Renaissance Italy wrapped themselves in silks and jewels, feathers and pearls. To dazzle the eye, they wore cloth-of-gold and cloth-of-silver, but sometimes the gems were made of paste, intended to deceive observers. All that glittered was not necessarily gold. Building from a study of material extravagance and the symbolic economy of male court fashions, this lecture explores the shining surfaces and things which adorned lords’ bodies and turns a critical eye to material fictions of luxury.  Continue reading

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Looking at the girl with an ermine

Timothy McCall (Villanova University) will give a talk, Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of a Milanese courtesan: new light on Cecilia Gallerani, the Girl with an Ermine, on Monday 29 July 2019, 6.15pm at the Forum Theatre, level 1 – Arts West, The University of Melbourne (registration here). He focuses our attention anew on Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Girl with an Ermine (1489-1490), a depiction of Cecilia Gallerani, mistress of the duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, examining the artistic representation of Cecilia both within conventions surrounding Renaissance mistresses at court and in relation to visual imagery celebrating her and her lord Ludovico’s identities. New evidence from an overlooked letter and technical analysis of the painting reveals that the relationship between the two began earlier than scholars have presumed (Cecilia was barely a teenager) and provides a fresh perspective on her connection with Leonardo da Vinci and her advertisement of that connection throughout her life.  Continue reading

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Melbourne ACIS Postdoctoral Fellowship 2019-2020

ACIS and the University of Melbourne have established a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship in Italian Studies, located in the School of Languages and Linguistics at the University of Melbourne, with a starting date of 1 February 2019. The Fellow will have the opportunity to build a research profile through the development of an original research project in any area of Italian Studies broadly defined, including, but not limited to, literature, linguistics, history, political studies, anthropology, and art history.  The Fellow is also expected to have a teaching workload of up to 25% in Italian Studies, European Studies or Italian language and culture at an undergraduate and/or Honours level.

To apply, candidates must have been awarded a PhD from an Australian or New Zealand university after 1 January 2012 in any area of Italian Studies and be either citizens or permanent residents of Australia or New Zealand. Graduates who satisfy the PhD requirements and currently live in Australia under the Temporary Graduate Visa (485) expiring after the end of 2020 will also be considered. Full details of the position and the application process can be found here.

The closing date for applications is 28 November 2018.

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Fellowship to honour Katthy Cavaliere

Cavaliere, nest, 2010

The estate of the artist Katthy Cavaliere (1972-2012) has announced that it will join the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Sydney’s Carriageworks, and the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) to establish a fellowship, Suspended Moment: The Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship, in support of women artists. Next year three $100,000 grants will be awarded to female-identifying Australian artists working in performance and installation; together they will realize a project to be exhibited at the three institutions in 2020. Cavaliere was born in Sarteano, Italy, in 1972, moving to Australia with her family in 1976. She attended the University NSW School of Art and Design in Sydney and studied under Marina Abramović at the Accademia di Belle Arti at Brera in Milan. She was best known for creating art informed by her migrant experience and sense of displacement as a child, as well as by her grief for her mother who died of ovarian cancer in 2008. One such work, nest, 2010, shows Cavaliere sitting on top of a pile of her mother’s clothes at Clovelly Beach in Sydney, gazing out at the horizon. Katthy Cavaliere herself died of ovarian cancer in 2012.

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ACIS – Save Venice Fellowship 2018

ACIS is very pleased to announce that Dr Angelo Lo Conte has been awarded the inaugural ACIS – Save Venice Fellowship. He will spend 3 months in Venice in the second half of 2018 to work at the Biblioteca Marciana, the Fondazione Giorgio Cini and the Galleria dell’Accademia on the extensive literature about, and drawings of, three artists originally from Bologna: the brothers Camillo (b.1564),  Carlo Antonio (b.1571) and Giulio Cesare (b.1574) Procaccini. Both the stylistic and commercial aspects of the family bottega established in Milan in the late 1580s played a significant role, artistic and practical, in the transition from Mannerism to the Baroque.  The project will define and illustrate the ways in which the Procaccini were the most important family of painters working in northern Italy in the first part of the 17th century.

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A Renaissance Royal Wedding 1518-2018

From 17 March to 13 May 2018 Oxford’s Bodleian Library’s new Weston Building will host an exhibition entitled A Renaissance Royal Wedding, marking the 500th anniversary of a landmark sixteenth-century match. On 18 April 1518 the Italian princess Bona Sforza married Sigismund I, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, in Cracow cathedral. The lavish nuptials forged links of politics and kinship between the Jagiellonian dynasty of Central Europe and the top families of Renaissance Italy, opening up new channels of communication between the Polish capital and the cities of Italy’s far south – a dynamic exchange of people, books and ideas which continued for decades. Bona Sforza (1494-1557) was a Milanese-Neapolitan princess, from 1518 queen of Poland and from 1524 duchess of Bari, in Puglia, and thus Italian ruler in her own right. King Sigismund (1467-1548) was the scion of a large royal house which, at its peak c. 1525, ruled half of Europe, from Prague to Smolensk. Their wedding was attended by dignitaries and scholars from across Christendom, and their five children – who later ruled in Poland-Lithuania, Sweden and Hungary – presented themselves throughout their lives as Polish-Italian royalty. Bona herself remains a controversial, high-profile figure in Polish memory to this day.

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Senses of Italy: Melbourne Masterclass

Scent, sight, sound, taste, touch: all Italian-style. They are covered in a programme of Thursday evening lectures, Melbourne Masterclass : Senses of Italy, at the University of Melbourne, 6.15 – 8.15pm, 5 October – 2 November 2017. The series starts with Catherine Kovesi on Renaissance perfumes (Venice as olfactory heaven) and Antonio Artese on scent and Aquaflor (5 Oct). Then Christopher Marshall looks at Artemisia Gentileschi’s correspondence (‘it’s all about the money’) and Mark Nicholls at Rossellini’s Voyage to Italy (12 Oct). John Weretka uses paintings and poetry to examine the instruments, repertoires and status of Renaissance musicians (upwardly mobile), followed by Malcolm Angelucci on poetics, music and madness in Italy before 1914 (19 Oct). John Hajek and Anthony White consider Futurism and food, the art and appetites of the antigrazioso (26 Oct). Finally Andrea Rizzi explores the ideas and images of Renaissance texts (‘tactile values’), and Carl Villis reveals some attributions and reattributions of Italian Renaissance art in the National Gallery of Victoria (2 Nov). Further details on the contributions, authors, venue and registration can be found here.

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Award of the Jo-Anne Duggan Prize 2017

ACIS  is very pleased to announce that the Jo-Anne Duggan Prize 2017 has been awarded to Monique Webber (University of Melbourne) for her essay ‘”In Search of Universal Icons”: Interrogating the Superstar Phenomenon of Early Modern Art through the Photography of Jo-Anne Duggan’. It shows how Jo-Anne Duggan’s photographs – notably those in her exhibitions Before the Museum (2000-2002), Impossible Gaze (2002-2005), and Wondrous Possessions (2010) – explore the impact of the passage of time on the works of forgotten masters and the way we now reflect on them. The essay reveals how Jo-Anne’s approach to Renaissance artworks uncovers the complex marks of superstar culture, the dominant form of our contemporary engagement with art and often regarded as a distinctive symptom of the modern age.  We are also very pleased to give the Highly Commended award to Laelie Greenwood (Monash University) for her essay ‘Private Memory, Public Spaces: An Examination of Memory and Monument within Italian Immigrant Experience in Carlton’.  She analyses the architecture of Malbourne’s Carlton area, using Jo-Anne Duggan’s writings to explore the ways in which Italian-Australians developed a distinctive architectural style in their house facades and renovations to convey their enduring links to the country they had left.

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War in the Sunshine: the British in Italy 1917-1918

estorick-collection-1024x858This is the title of the current exhibition at the newly renovated Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in Highbury, London. The Collection, opened in 1998, concentrates on Futurist paintings (Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà) and works by Giorgio De Chirico, Amedeo Modigliani, Giorgio Morandi and Mario Sironi. ‘War in the Sunshine‘ (13 Jan – 19 March) covers the largely forgotten British participation in the final stages of the war on one of its most difficult and dangerous fronts – North East Italy – depicted by official war artists (Sidney Carline, himself a pilot) and photographers (Ernest Brooks and William Brunell).

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‘Almost spectral in their otherness’

410martin_bogren_italia_special_edition_with_printThat’s a reviewer’s comment on the way the people captured in Martin Bogren’s recent Italia (Max Ström 2016) look.  The Swedish photographer spent three years in Naples, Palermo, Bologna and Turin to produce a black-and-white portrayal of streets and subjects which seem suspended in time. ‘Been wandering around for days now. Street after street. With a heavy heart and loneliness as a constant companion. I’ve forgotten why I’m here and what I’m doing. A camera clutched in my hand, increasingly fearful, with a cowardly posture’.  You can see the striking results of this apparently forlorn enterprise here.

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