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.

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Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship goes to Italian Songs from the Time of Christopher Columbus

Principal Investigator Anne MacNeil writes:

“Since the mid-18th century, scholars have been accustomed to thinking of musical works of art as embodied in their notation. The restrictions of print culture on the publication of critical editions has perpetuated and entrenched this line of thinking. But with the vastly increased resources afforded by digital humanities, Italian songs from the time of Christopher Columbus aims to create a critical edition of the late-15th- and early-16th-century repertory of Italian and Latin songs known as frottole that displaces this notion and relocates the object of study in music as a sounding work of art.”

Kress Foundation Grant awarded for The Virtual Studiolo

The Samuel H. Kress Foundation has generously awarded a Digital Resources Grant to IDEA Co-Director Deanna Shemek and her team to fund the production of a demonstration video prototype as the first phase of Isabella d’Este: Virtual Studiolo.  This project aims to reassemble in a virtual, digital, open-access environment one of Renaissance Italy’s most stunning art collections, the studiolo of Isabella d’Este (1474-1539), marchesa of the city-state of Mantua. We are designing the Virtual Studiolo to have broad appeal for scholars, students, and the general public, highlighting the rich beauty of our subject matter and creating a significant advance in relation to current methods for understanding Renaissance collecting. Continue reading “Kress Foundation Grant awarded for The Virtual Studiolo