“La Tintoretta:” Searching for Marietta Robusti

Little is known about Marietta Robusti, the daughter of infamous artist Tintoretto. Only one self-portrait is attributed to her, but is the woman in the painting actually Marietta?

The Heart of Renaissance Art: ‘Paragone’

In academic circles, a word that is inescapable when discussing Renaissance art is paragone. Paragone translated from Italian, generally means “comparison” and this theme of comparison was the backbone for much of the Italian Renaissance. Paragone was a major topic of debate during the early modern period, pitting artists, philosophers, and humanists against one anotherContinue reading “The Heart of Renaissance Art: ‘Paragone’”

Reframing History: Sister Plautilla Nelli

Sister Plautilla Nelli (1524-1588) was a self-taught artist and is often considered the first known woman artist of Florence. She was a nun in the Dominican convent of St. Catherine of Siena, where she was heavily influenced by the teachings of Dominican friar and avid preacher Savonarola. Savonarola advocated for devotional paintings and encouraged womanContinue reading “Reframing History: Sister Plautilla Nelli”

Saint and Sinner: The Legacies of Two Byzantine Empresses

The legacies that shape the memory of notable historical figures are passed down through oral and written tradition. Through time and with the storyteller’s bias, these stories and legacies change to create specific memories that stay with the figure and become a part of accepted history. The question becomes how accurate are the legacies andContinue reading “Saint and Sinner: The Legacies of Two Byzantine Empresses”

Reframing History: Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, aka ‘Il Sodoma’

Giovanni Antonio Bazzi was born in Piedmont, Italy in 1477. He studied the strong coloring and style of the Lombard school of painting, but went on to adopt many of the stylistic features of Leonardo. He is best known for completing a number of church frescos throughout Siena. He is one of the first toContinue reading “Reframing History: Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, aka ‘Il Sodoma’”

Reframing History: Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence

Alessandro de’ Medici was the first Duke of the Florence from 1532 to his death in 1537. Alessandro was the last of the senior line of the Medici family to lead Florence, recognized as the only son of Lorenzo II de’ Medici (the grandson of Lorenzo the Great). Yet, there are many questions about whoContinue reading “Reframing History: Alessandro de’ Medici, Duke of Florence”

An Early Modern Christmas

As Christmas nears, many of us have spent the last few weeks decorating Christmas trees, baking cookies, and wrapping presents in preparation. Holiday traditions such as these have become so ingrained in our modern (Western) society, but what was Christmas like over four hundred years ago during the Renaissance and Early Modern period? This week,Continue reading “An Early Modern Christmas”