Tag Archives: luxury

Early Modern Luxury, Greed, Ethics: Conference at Villa I Tatti, 25-26 Sept

itatti_logoThis conference, Luxury and the Ethics of Greed in the Early Modern World, will take place at the Villa I Tatti on 25-26 September 2014. It will unravel the complex interaction of the competing paradigms of luxury and greed, which lie at the origins of modern consumption practices. In the western world the phenomenon of luxury and the ethical dilemmas it raised appeared, for the first time since antiquity, in Renaissance Italy. Here luxury emerged as a core idea in the conceptualization of consumption. Simultaneously greed, manifested in new, unrestrained consumption practices, came under close ethical scrutiny. Other European countries soon followed suit, and similar debates emerged in Ming China with the twin concepts of schechi and shemi. As the buying power of new classes gained pace, these paradigms evolved as they continued to inform emerging global cultures through the Early Modern period. Speakers and their abstracts can be found here.

Tagged , , , ,

Palaces, skyscrapers, villas, follies ….. and six styles of architectural luxury

9781409433217.PPC_Layout 1Today luxury and its celebration are hardly confined to European élites and the American leisure class. Apart from the adornment of the body, the displays of luxury surround us most visibly in built and unbuilt environments. In The Architecture of Luxury (2014) Annette Condello focuses on a range of contexts in Italy and Western Europe, Latin America and the United States to trace the myths and applications of luxury in architecture, interiors and designed landscapes. Moving from antiquity to the modern era, she identifies six historical categories of luxury – Sybaritic, Lucullan, architectural excess, rustic, neoEuropean and modern – and relates them to their different historical periods and cultural contexts.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

Luxury and its underside

Rosa Salzberg   University of Warwick

Luxury is one of the concepts most closely associated in the popular mind with Italy today and in the Renaissance period which I research and teach.

A diamond is forever

‘A diamond is forever’ (Don Draper, 1948, after Anita Loos, 1925)

But the precise value and consequences of luxury – of the skills it preserves and innovation it generates, but also of the social inequalities it reflects and arguably exacerbates – are still matters of heated debate. I am part of a recently-launched International Network entitled Luxury & the Manipulation of Desire which aims to explore these questions anew, linking the contemporary agenda to scholarship on the history of global luxury from the Renaissance to the present. It focuses on three key areas: the production of luxury, the regulation of luxury and the geography of luxury.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

The architecture of luxury

Annette Condello   Curtin University

120px-08653_Palacio_de_Bellas_Artes

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City. Begun by Adamo Boari in 1901.

The idea of luxury – how it can be defined and what forms it takes in different cultural contexts and historical periods – is the theme of an earlier post. My own interest is in the application of luxury in the field of architecture. Building on my previous research, which examined Francesco Venezia’s contemporary architectural spolia in Italy and France and Adamo Boari’s early modern designs in Mexico and the USA, I am developing a project which examines the meaning and application of luxury. Luxury has become a contentious issue in architecture: is it an unqualified benefit or something that should be present only within strict limits? The project’s scope spans from antiquity to modern (and contemporary) times.  Continue reading

Tagged , ,