Skip to main content

2013: Venice & the Renaissance

Venice and the Renaissance

THURSDAY, APRIL | 18 | 2013

Blake de Maria, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Art and Art History, Santa Clara University

Becoming Venice, Becoming Venetian

Few, if any, early modern European cities boasted a population as racially, ethnically, and religiously diverse as Renaissance Venice, from German merchants living in the Fondaco dei Tedeschi to the Jewish inhabitants of the Ghetto. Focusing on the wealthy elite of that immigrant population and their monumental palaces to pictorial cycles, we examine the artistic patronage commissioned by and associated with rich immigrant merchants who relocated to Venice with the aim of becoming Venetiancittadini, or citizens.

Patricia Fortini Brown, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus,Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University

More Noble Than Noble: Pursuing Glory in a Republic of Equals

Inside Venice, showing off—displaying one's personal magnificence—was officially discouraged within the patrician class. But high public office in theterraferma or the stato da marallowed the noble patrician an opportunity to fashion himself—at least for a time—as a provincial lord, akin to the landed nobility that he encountered there. Service abroad could be not only a stepping stone to higher office, but also a way to become "more noble than noble" through the patronage of art and architecture.


FRIDAY, APRIL | 19 | 2013

Suzanne Magnanini, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies, Department of French and Italian, University of Colorado, Boulder

What They Talked About When They Talked about Love in Sixteenth-Century Venice

Brigate were groups of men and women that in Renaissance society enjoyed a reputation for merry-making, carousing, but also intellectual pursuits. In the texts I discuss, these same-sex groups debate many topics without the intrusion of the opposite sex, although this presentation specifically focuses on their exchanges about love. What did Venetian men and women talk about when they did not have to worry about the opinion or opposition of the other gender? How did these conversations differ from those in countless other Italian Renaissance dialogues on love in which male and female characters participated?

Guido Ruggiero, Ph.D., College of Arts and Sciences Cooper Fellow and Professor of History, University of Miami

Wayfarers in Wonderland: Love and Sex in Renaissance Venice Revisited

Looking at the passions and emotions associated with the way sex and love were lived and felt in Renaissance Venice, the city on the lagoons becomes an at once familiar and strangely alien place with apparently familiar institutions such as marriage, youth, nobility, and prostitution taking on disturbingly different valences. Much the same can be said for crimes such as fornication, adultery, and sodomy. And finally, the very emotions that one might tend to think are universal such as love, jealousy, desire, and pleasure seem to be not quite the same. Looking more closely at love and sex in Renaissance Venice offers an often startlingly different perspective on both the city and what we think we know about those crucial aspects of life.