New Essays about Isabella d’Este

IDEA is pleased to announce the publication of four new essays on Isabella d’Este by Carolyn James, Guido Rebecchini, Deanna Shemek, and Roberto Vetrugno, all in a new volume out from Silvana Editore (2019) in honor of IDEA co-director and former director of the Archivio di Stato di Mantova, Daniela Ferrari.

Itinera Chartarum. 150 anni dell’Archivio di Stato di Mantova. Saggi in onore di Daniela Ferrari, edited by Roberta Piccinelli, Deanna Shemek, and Luisa Onesta Tamassia, features forty-eight short research essays based on documents in the Archivio di Stato di Mantova, ranging across a number of disciplines including history, art history, music, cartography, spectacle, and more.

“Ricordare, rintracciare, vedere, partecipare, costruire”: sono queste le parole chiave che caratterizzano i capitoli in cui si articola il volume dedicato a Daniela Ferrari per ringraziarla e riconoscerle i meriti di una lunga e intensa attività di studiosa e di direttrice dell’Archivio di Stato di Mantova Continue reading “New Essays about Isabella d’Este”

Summer conference presentations featuring Isabella d’Este

Writing about Children: Letters by ‘Eminent’ Parents between the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Age (15th-18th Centuries)
International Conference
Pavia, Collego Ghislieri
28-30 May 2019.

Monica Ferrari, Matteo Morandi, Federico Piseri (University of Pavia)
Patricia Rochwert-Zuili (University of Artois)
Hélène Thieulin Pardo (Sorbonne University)

Within a conference aimed at investigating the letters of “eminent” parents on the education and behaviour of their children, on the emotional communities shaped by inter-generational dynastic relationships, and on the concepts and patterns of childhood between the late Middle Ages and the Early Modern Age, the Este and Gonzaga courts were well represented. In particular, two papers focused directly on Isabella d’Este: Carolyn James (Monash University), Raising Federico Gonzaga, «el puton del pa», and his siblings. The epistolary dialogue about their children between Isabella d’Este and Francesco Gonzaga, and Matteo Basora (University of Macerata), «Io te amo più che persona del mondo». Isabella d’Este: lettere ai figli (e sui figli).

See the Pavia conference programme here

The Society for Italian Studies Biennial Conference
University of Edinburgh
26-28 June 2019

Panel: Writing and Power in Early Modern Italian Women’s Letters

Panel organisers:
Veronica Andreani, (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Veronica Copello, (Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento)

Veronica Andreani, (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Veronica Copello, (Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento)
Kate Driscoll (University of California, Berkeley)
Isabella Lazzarini (University of Molise) 

The panel focuses on the connection between writing and power in early modern Italian women’s epistolary networks. Authoritative and learned figures, such as Isabella d’Este, Vittoria Colonna, Veronica Gambara, and Isabella Andreini will be analysed, together with the topics covered, and the rhetorical and linguistic strategies used in their correspondences with male and female powerful interlocutors. Within the panel, Isabella Lazzarini will talk about Women in Power? Female Epistolary Networks in the Age of the Italian Wars (Mantua, 1490-1510 ca.), focusing on Isabella d’Este’s political letter-writing.

See the Edinburgh conference programme here

The National Endowment for the Humanities supports The Virtual Studiolo

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a Digital Advancement Level II grant in support of IDEA’s The Virtual Studiolo project! NEH press release

The Virtual Studiolo team

Thanks to the generous support of the NEH, The Virtual Studiolo team will undertake the first two milestones in a multi-stage project that aims to produce and enable new research and teaching about the Italian Renaissance.  The Virtual Studiolo will invite users into an immersive visual and acoustic experience: in-the-round, floor-to-ceiling, and textured by sound and reading.

 If you haven’t seen The Virtual Studiolo video yet, link to it here.

 Contribute your ideas to the project by submitting your Users’ Stories here!

Textiles, Trade, and Meaning: Clothing and Textiles at the Court of Mantua under Isabella d’Este Receives Australasian Funding

Catherine Kovesi
University of Melbourne, Australia

A team of researchers headed by Professor Catherine Kovesi of the University of Melbourne has been funded by the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies (ACIS) to explore Renaissance fashion and commerce through the vehicle of Isabella d’Este’s wardrobe. This transnational research cluster will “tease out the what, the how, and the why of clothing, textiles and accoutrements in the courts of northern Italy” by focusing in-depth on Isabella d’Este’s court. The project will create for display in IDEA an interactive image of the portrait of Isabella painted by Titian (circa 1534) that now hangs in Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum and “unpack each aspect of the clothing seen in this portrait—her fur, her gloves, her distinctive headdress, her sleeves, the dyes and textiles employed in her garments—as well as what we don’t see, namely her undergarments.” The research team will connect these details to Isabella’s correspondence and to relevant bibliography, thus creating an exciting new tool for researchers and students in history, the history of art, and the social sciences.

Tap here for more details

Isabella d’Este’s letters win scholarly prize

Isabella d’Este’s Selected Letters (Toronto and Tempe AZ: Iter Academic Press and Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2017), translated and edited by IDEA co-director Deanna Shemek of the University of California, Irvine, has been awarded the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women’s prize for the best translation of a woman’s work in 2017. The committee selected Shemek’s edition in translation “because it provides the first collection of a broad selection of d’Este’s letters and the first translation of this material into English.” Committee members praised the volume’s “clear presentation of biographical detail in the excellent work done in situating d’Este’s significance culturally and historically in Shemek’s introduction.  They also noted that the volume “represents a monumental undertaking in both scale and scope,”  given Shemek’s “decision to include letters that cover a broad range of topics—including trade, political diplomacy, and art collecting [which] convey to the reader a sense of life in Renaissance Europe while also directly engaging issues that will be of interest to scholars who study women/gender, violence against women, reproduction, sexuality, and marriage.” Finally, the committee also recognized “the stunning scope of this translation and the significant labor of the translation of [hundreds] of letters from manuscript. To have these letters in print and translated will open up the study of d’Este to many more students and scholars. The breadth of the collection makes this volume relevant to a wide audience.”

New addition to the IDEA Video Archive

Lisa Boutin Vitela of IDEA Ceramics provides an overview of Isabella d’Este’s collection with a discussion of Isabella’s maiolica service in the video, “Early Renaissance Courts: Isabella d’Este.” Viewers may also be interested in her broader discussion in “Early Renaissance Art of the Italian Courts.” Dr. Boutin Vitela’s YouTube Channel Art History Basix explores art of the ancient, medieval, and early modern world.