Tag Archives: Renaissance

ACIS Research Group: History and Social Sciences

The first 3-year plan for the ACIS History and Social Sciences Research Group is available here. As its title, Trade, Textiles and Meaning in Italy: 1400-2018, suggests, the focus is on the nature and consequences of the high-end textile trade in Italy from the Renaissance onwards. The project begins with a specific object – the portrait of Isabella D’Este (1474-1539) by Titian – and explores the production and meaning of all the items of clothing, seen and not seen, that Isabella is wearing. The exploration is conducted in tandem with the IDEA (Isabella D’Este Archive) website, in relation where possible to the references to clothing and textiles in Isabella’s correspondence. The second part of the project examines similar themes in the contemporary world of ‘Made in Italy’, where many major producers using that descriptor are not Italian. Information on the activities and people involved in the project can be found in the plan and from the Research Group’s convenor, Catherine Kovesi.

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Translators in Quattrocento Italy

A recent study by Andrea Rizzi, Vernacular Translators in Quattrocento Italy: Scribal Culture, Authority, and Agency (Brepols, 2017), explores the role of translators in the literary culture of 15th century Italy, covering not only superstars such as Leonardo Bruni but also obscure writers from throughout the Italian peninsula. It offers a novel history of the use of the Italian language alongside Latin in a period when high culture was bilingual; it sheds light on Renaissance self-fashioning and on the patronage system (far less studied in literature than in art); and it addresses the question of how translators went about convincing readers of the value of their work in disseminating knowledge that would otherwise be inaccessible to many. The book will be launched by Professor Brian Richardson (Leeds) on Wednesday 14 March 2018 at 6.15pm in the Arts Hall, Old Arts, The University of Melbourne. It is a free event (RSVP here) and refreshments will be served. For further information, contact Trudie Molloy.

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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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The Pleasures of Allegory: Rethinking ‘Susanna and the Elders’

susanna-and-the-elders.jpg!xlSmallPatricia Simons, Professor of Art History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, will give a talk, The Pleasures of Allegory: Rethinking ‘Susanna and the Elders’ , in Theatre 1, Alan Gilbert Building-G21, at the University of Melbourne on Wednesday, 9 March 2016, 5.30pm – 6.45pm (admission free but booking required here). Tintoretto’s ‘Susanna and the Elders’ (c.1555) is commonly read as a case of male voyeurism, in subject and purpose, or as mere moralizing allegory. This paper moves away from each reductive extreme by re-examining the story’s history and visual effect.

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Enfilade, Venetian Painting, Remembering David Rosand

Sally Grant   New York

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Here is an item from a recent issue of the newsletter Enfilade that will interest ACIS readers (Enfilade is edited by the tireless and ineffably charming Craig Hanson who keeps everyone in eighteenth-century studies, especially art and architecture, informed about what is going on in the way of exhibitions, conferences and publications). It signals the opening this week of a Venetian painting exhibition, In Light of Venice: Venetian Painting in Honor of David Rosand, at the Otto Naumann Gallery, New York, which lasts until 12 February 2016. The title recalls the distinguished art historian of Renaissance Venice who died in 2014 and in whose honour a new Italian professorship is to be established at Columbia University. Some of the profits from the exhibition will be donated to the David Rosand Tribute Fund at the university to support the position.

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Venetian Old Master Drawings, and a Contemporary Response, at the Ashmolean, Oxford

Sally Grant   New York

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682-1754), Head of a Youth, Ashmolean Museum

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682-1754), Head of a Youth © Ashmolean Museum

A major early-modern Venetian drawing exhibition has opened at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Focusing on works from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, Titian to Canaletto: Drawing in Venice should be a visual delight. Considering other recent exhibitions on this subject in Venice, LA, and New York (both in 2012 and 2013-14, as reviewed here), however, the museum’s emphasis on its “ground breaking” attention to the role drawing played for Venetian artists is perhaps a tad overstated. Nevertheless, when it comes to the art of Venice, the more shows the merrier.

This is particularly the case when exhibitions bring to view drawings that are often sequestered in archives away from the public’s gaze. Each opportunity to look closely at such works brings with it the chance of new understanding of aspects of art and humanity. And unlike the previously mentioned exhibitions, where the works were all drawn from US collections, the Ashmolean is displaying its own drawings alongside loans from the Uffizi in Florence and Oxford’s Christ Church. This will create the UK’s first prominent exhibition devoted to the drawings of the Venetian Old Masters.

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Italian Gardens in the Renaissance

260px-Bomarzo_MonsterThe University of Melbourne is hosting an evening symposium, “The Renaissance of Gardens”, dedicated to Italian gardens in the Renaissance on Friday, 26 June 2015 from 6.00 – 7.30pm in the Macmahon Ball Theatre, Ground Floor, Old Arts Building. The speakers and their topics will be: Richard Aitken, architect, historian and curator: The Italian Renaissance garden in Australia: Ideas and EchoesKatherine Bentz, Art History, Saint Anselm College: Exercise for Sound Body and Mind: The Culture of Walking in Italian Renaissance Gardens: and Luke Morgan, Art History & Theory, Monash University: The Monster in the Garden. The programme will be introduced by Andrea Rizzi, ARC Future Fellow, Melbourne University. For details on the speakers and their publications, click here. The event is free but requires booking here.

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Why is that Saint holding a bbq grill?

santoDiana Hiller will address that unusual query in her talk, ‘Why is that Saint holding a barbecue grill? Cracking visual codes in Italian Renaissance painting‘, at the Museo Italiano, 199 Faraday Street, Carlton 3053 on Thursday 11 June at 6.30pm (free event but call (03) 9349 9021 or RSVP here). People living in Italy in the early modern period had many advantages over modern viewers when looking at the paintings that surrounded them as they went about their daily lives. They saw paintings in their parish churches, in magnificent cathedrals, in municipal buildings, in hospitals, and in the local meeting places of confraternities. Merchants and well-to-do citizens had paintings in both their public and private domestic spaces. Today the most obvious visual images that we encounter in our environment are likely to be advertisements. For us paintings are generally confined to art galleries. We not only lack the all-important contexts for painted works, but we are also no longer aware of the many visual cues that were familiar to people in the Renaissance. The citizens of Florence, Siena, Venice, Milan and so on knew their Biblical stories and were generally familiar with the most important myths and gods of classical antiquity.

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Il Paroliere: Italian Word of the Week-84

280px-Santi_di_Tito_-_Niccolo_Machiavelli's_portrait_headcrop‘Quel grande che temprando lo scettro a’ regnatori gli allori ne sfronda, e alle genti svela di che lagrime grondi e di che sangue..’ disse Ugo Foscolo davanti al monumento, un’interpretazione non condivisa da tutti. Anzi, sembra ad alcuni che quel grande tenne il piede in due staffe, restando in bilico perenne tra rafforzamento e smascheramento del potere.

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