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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Enfilade, Venetian Painting, Remembering David Rosand

Sally Grant   New York


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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‘Tied with indissoluble chains’: Languages of Exile and Imprisonment

Lisa Di Crescenzo/Sally Fisher   Monash University

CMRS The inaugural Annual Symposium of Monash University’s Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (CMRS),'”Tied with indissoluble chains”: Languages of Exile and Imprisonment in Medieval and Renaissance England and Italy’, was held at Monash University on 24 April 2015. The theme was born out of shared research interests, and the enthusiastic response from speakers and participants confirmed both scholarly and general interest in a sustained enquiry into languages of exile and imprisonment in Medieval and Renaissance England and Italy. Susan Broomhall (UWA) gave the plenary address, followed by Stephanie Downes (Melbourne), Helen Hickey (Melbourne), Amanda McVitty (Massey University, NZ) and Natalie Tomas (Monash). Papers by Lisa Di Crescenzo and Sally Fisher completed the programme. Analysing sources such as letters, legal documents, chronicles and poems, the speakers interrogated the writing of the experiences of exile and imprisonment in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century England and Italy, exploring how the physical and interior experiences of these states were negotiated, reshaped and performed, and the intersections and oppositions between them.

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Sexy e complicato

podcast(Regretful disclosure: not my title, but the one SBS has used to publicise today’s talk by Andrea Rizzi discussing the beautiful exhibition ‘Libri: 6 Centuries of Italian Books‘ at the Baillieu library of the University of Melbourne). The exhibition closes shortly but a selection will remain online.  Andrea’s focus is particularly on the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, published in 1499 in Venice by Aldus Manutius; and he provides a full explanation of exactly what was sexy and complicated about the story (yes, available uncensored on Amazon).

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Visit by Michael Wyatt to New Zealand and Australia: 10 Aug – 3 Oct 2013

ACIS cropped header

Between August and October one of our inaugural Honorary Research Associates, Michael Wyatt, will be visiting universities in New Zealand and Australia to give lectures and seminars on a range of Renaissance topics (he is the General Editor of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to the Italian Renaissance) as well as issues in the general field of cultural translation. When he is in New Zealand (10 – 24 August), he will be visiting Auckland and Otago. In Australia (24 Aug – 3 Oct) he will be based at the University of Melbourne and will also be giving talks at UQ, USQ, Newcastle, Sydney and Flinders. We will be putting up here the details of his visits and the topics he will be addressing so as to facilitate attendance. For further information contact Andrea Rizzi.

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Cultura, caffè, calcio: the Monash Prato experience

Luke Bancroft   Monash University

Bancroft photo

La curva Fiesole, 2 December 2012

A colleague of mine once told me that I was the odd one out.  It was early one evening, about mid-way through my first semester of tutoring, and I was having a bit of a vent because my students weren’t as engaged as I had hoped they would be.  ‘Remember’, she said, ‘you can’t expect them to be as interested in it as you are…it’s what you do.’  It made perfect sense to me then, and ever since I have tried to be mindful of the fact that a good teacher/tutor/mentor/whatever must always consider the complexities of keeping their students engaged.  Surely having a happy and interested student is half the battle…right?  Whilst this may be a strange place to start a post on five weeks spent assisting forty-five students explore the Renaissance in Tuscany, there was definitely a lesson in those words that resonated.

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Power of Luxury flierTo mark the 500th anniversary of Machiavelli’s composition of The Prince, a group of Italian, Australian and US institutions –  the Embassy of Italy in Canberra, the Australian Institute of Art History of the University of Melbourne (Melbourne), the Fondazione per l’Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (Milan and Florence), the Museo Poldi Pezzoli (Milan), the Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane (Florence and Naples) and the UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (Los Angeles) – has organised a series of international symposia with the participation of leading Renaissance scholars. The first, The Power of Luxury: Art and Culture at the Italian Courts in Machiavelli’s Lifetime, will be held at the University of Melbourne on 19-20 February 2013. Registration is free, and the programme, abstracts and details of the location can be found here.

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