Marble muscles ripple—the stone carver’s feat charismatic in its unselfconsciousness. Crystals dangle, their effervescence gleaming for centuries as blown baubles from the past. Mother-of-pearl inlay…View More Ateliers of Europe
What bigger figures populated the Renaissance than Michelangelo and Vittoria Colonna? During a fictive date night, I have them giving gifts to each other!
Peering back into the mists of time to ascertain how relationships between men and women played out has its challenges, particularly when the era limited contact between the opposite sex of a certain rank such as during the Italian Reformation. After posting a literary design adventure that found the Renaissance master Michelangelo and the sixteenth-century poet Vittoria Colonna dining at La Ménagère in Florence, I decided it was time to have them give each other meaningful gifts as a way to discuss protocol around the subject during their time. It’s not as far-fetched as you might think, as they met in Rome sometime between 1536 and 1538 while Michelangelo was working on the Tomb of Julius II and The Last Judgment.
In her book Vittoria Colonna and the Spiritual Poetics of the Italian Reformation, Dr. Abigail Brundin explains, “Despite the difference in status—Colonna was the more aristocratic by far—and the need to negotiate with great care a friendship between two high profile, unmarried individuals, a very real bond clearly developed, one that is documented most compellingly in the poems they addressed to one another, including the gift manuscript of sonnets that Colonna prepared for her friend in around 1540, as well as the three presentation drawings that Michelangelo made for Colonna.” I delve into this friendship in the post The Italian Reformation and Gifting.
Treasures According to Petrarch
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Saluting the Renaissance Book Club
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The Personality of Place
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God’s Articulate Finger
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Narratives That Illuminate Design
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Decorating Hampton Court Palace
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Poetry and Ceramics in Savona
The 16th-century poetry that sprung from Savona made a strong impression on Thomas William Parsons when he found verses inscribed on a statue of the Madonna near the…View More Poetry and Ceramics in Savona
A Definition of Fleeting
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