Reflections on music, art, & letters from Isabella d’Este’s court – let us hear from you!

Something that really struck me about Ad tempo taci was when Marco Beasley started singing Bartolomeo Tromboncino’s “Tu dormi io veglio ala tempesta e vento.” The first lines went as follows: “You sleep, I stand watch in the wind and rain on the marble stone of your doorstep. You sleep, I stand watch, and with bitter accent I endlessly cry for pity that is dead to me. You sleep, I stand watch in grave torment, finding no one to comfort my pain. You sleep peacefully without worry and my eyes never close.”

Instantly, all I could think about was the state of the world we are currently in. With all of the chaos going on, these words spoke to me. I couldn’t help but translate this into thinking about patients in hospitals who can’t have visitors. Mothers are giving birth without their partners in the room with them. Grandparents are isolated – lonely and afraid. Newborns can’t meet their families. Emergency rooms are over crowed. Families have to resort to using technology to speak to one another.

These words both haunt me and bring me peace. Although many people are torn apart right now, they are still keeping watch for one another. They cry for one another. They will never stop caring for one another. And once this is all over, they can be with one another. Families will reunite. Grandparents will meet their grandchildren. There will be hugs all around. Healthcare workers will catch a break. Everything will fall back into its place eventually. But right now, all we can do is wait on the marble stone of the doorstep.

– Savannah Meier
Indian Trail, North Carolina

Link to the Ad tempo taci: Songs for Isabella d’Este here

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Celebrate International Early Music Day (March 21) with a new film from IDEA!

Anne MacNeil’s latest film, Sovra i verdi rami cantando: Echoes of Serafino Aquilano, features music scholar Elizabeth Elmi, luthier & lutenist Luca Piccioni, singer Miriam Trevisan, and the cinematographic genius of Mario Piavoli (ZefiroFilm).

In this time of world-wide contagion, transport yourself to the beautiful Italian countryside and join us in re-imagining the soundscapes of the early sixteenth century through the aesthetic imagery of Sannazaro’s Arcadia, the lyric style of Serafino Aquilano, and their manifestation in the musical culture of Isabella d’Este’s court.

Link to the IDEA Video Archive here

The Newberry Consort joins forces with Philadelphia-based Piffaro for “La Marchesa Isabella d’Este”

This program honors the great Isabella d’Este, a politician, mother, taste-maker, musician, writer, art collector, and one of the most important patrons of the Italian Renaissance. These concerts feature the frottola, an Italian song form that propagated at Isabella d’Este’s Mantuan court. Isabella commissioned her favorite poets and composers including Josquin des Prez (c. 1450-1521), Bartolomeo Tromboncino (d. 1534) and Marco Cara (d. 1525) to craft these short, amorous songs, which she herself enjoyed performing. Soprano Ellen Hargis gives voice to this sensual Italian poetry accompanied by a variety of Renaissance instruments, including guitar, lute, shawms, recorders, and strings. All performances feature pre-concert chats with Dr. Anne MacNeil, Co-Director of IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive.
Concerts in Chicago February 7, 8, and 9 and
in Philadelphia February 14, 15, and 16.
Tap here and here for more information about the artists and performances

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