Tag Archives: Venice

Eighteenth-Century Venetian Drawings in New York

Sally Grant   New York

tiepolo_1997_27_2The recent post on Angelo Cattaneo’s upcoming paper got me thinking about Venice. Having recently completed my PhD at the University of Sydney on eighteenth-century Venetian gardens and villa culture, the city and its territory are never far from my thoughts. Recently, however, I was lucky enough to see a wonderful exhibition, ‘Tiepolo, Guardi, and Their World: Eighteenth-Century Venetian Drawings’, at the Pierpont Morgan Library in NYC, where I now live.

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Of Coffee, Cakes, and an Obligatory Saint

Catherine Kovesi  University of Melbourne

Bassrelief of San Martino on the Oratory of the Scuola of San Martino

Bassrelief of San Martino on the Oratory of the Scuola of San Martino

Throughout most of the westernised world we have just celebrated the festival of Halloween. Each year many protest the intrusion of what they see as an Americanised festival into their indigenous traditions, and it did look a little anachronistic here in Venice to see Halloween paraphernalia in many shop windows. But now, barely a fortnight later, the windows are full of paraphernalia for a different and delightful festival here in the city, one with many similarities to Halloween in the ways in which it is celebrated by the children of Venice, but which is completely enmeshed in Venetian tradition. This is the Feast of San Martino, celebrated on 11 November for at least three centuries now.

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‘Madonna dei Bagni … Prega per noi.’

Catherine Kovesi   University of Melbourne

P1020061Wandering along the banchette of one of Venice’s regular mercati antiquari the other day, my eye was caught by a lovely little tazza di caffé. Turning it over, I saw that it was by Ginori, and I felt a little pang that I couldn’t fork out the 40 euros that the stall owner wanted for it.

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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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Lucrezia Marinella’s ‘Essortationi alle donne et a gli altri’: construction of an early modern self

Amy Sinclair   University of Melbourne

The concept of self-fashioning has developed into an important area of Renaissance scholarship, yet rarely has it been considered in gendered terms. Most research has focused on analysing male-authored texts for insights into shifting perceptions of the self and identity.Title Page - Essortationi My aim is to contribute to this important discussion by introducing a Renaissance woman’s voice into the conversation through an examination of Lucrezia Marinella’s 17th century conduct book, Essortationi alle donne et a gli altri, se a loro saranno a grado (1645). Specifically, I’m interested in exploring what the work can tell us about Renaissance self-fashioning by analyzing the construction and representation of self in discourse and the role of gender in these processes. I also analyse the way in which Marinella uses personal pronouns and the language of self-reference to understand how discourses make manifest and shape that identity construction process. And, to identify what is individual and what is general,  I locate her work in the context of a corpus of approximately 50 excerpts from the conduct literature of the period.

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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

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Ocio ciò

Andrea Rizzi   University of Melbourne

One of the most enjoyable aspects of teaching and researching Italian culture is taking students to Italy. There is something refreshing, exciting and unexpected about sharing with them the Italian civic rituals, the repositories of past cultures and memory such as museums and libraries, and the historical traces dotted around the Italian cities.800px-Collage_Venezia Every second year Catherine Kovesi and I spend a month in Venice with 22 students of all ages and walks of life. Venice is the easiest city to sell. It is such a unique, impressive, reserved and yet so public, and, most importantly, famous city that students immediately respond to the attraction of staying in a palazzo for a month only a stone’s throw away from the Canal Grande.
Venice is a cultural map, mental space, a hub for cultural commodification. It can be interpreted and consumed in an infinite number of ways. Continue reading

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