Objects and Spaces of Encounter in Renaissance Italy

FBK Aula Grande

Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali

FBK Aula Grande

Fondazione Bruno Kessler - Polo delle Scienze Umane e sociali

The focus of this conference will be on objects and spaces which reveal the influence of foreign actors, materials, designs and production techniques on the culture of the Renaissance. Objects (such as Turkish rugs, German bedclothes or garments made of ‘damask’ or ‘scotch tweed’) evoke material exchanges, sociability, and the layering of real and imagined interactions. Spaces of encounter (workshops, inns, fairs, churches) frame the human and material contacts underpinning the Renaissance and allow us to assess levels of extraneity and belonging, as they varied by circumstance and place.

Multidisciplinary in scope, the conference will bring together scholars working in various fields, and will include discussion of underexplored regions of Italy and their encounters with people and goods beyond the peninsula.


Organisers: Mary Laven, Emily Michelson, Federica Gigante and Alexandros Hatzikiriakos



Monday 15 April – Objects

14:00-15:30 – Material Exchanges
Chair: Mary Laven

Federica Gigante (University of Cambridge)
Muslim Galley Slaves as Street Sellers and the Circulation of Islamicate Artefacts in Early Modern Italy

Lavinia Gambini (University of Cambridge)
Levantine kerchiefs and Materia Medica: Cross-Cultural Encounters and the Making of the Apothecary’s Home

Rachele Scuro (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
Trading objects, meeting otherness: The 16th-Century Venetian Ghetto as a Space of Economic, Social, and Cultural Encounter

16:00-17:30 – Making and Expertise
Chair: Massimo Rospocher

Emma Lyandres (NYU Institute of Fine Arts)
The Padua ‘Parokhet’ as Gateway to Jerusalem: A Transcultural Textile in Early Modern Italy

Donatella Melini (University of Pavia)
Migrations and Contaminations in 16th-Century Italian Lutherie

Catherine Fletcher (Manchester Metropolitan University)
‘A Remarkable Little Gun out of Germany’: International Frearms in Sixteenth-Century Italy


Tuesday 16 April – Places & Spaces

9:30-11:00 – Venice
Chair: Emily Michelson

Sandra Toffolo (Istituto Storico Italo-Germanico, Fondazione Bruno Kessler)
Situating encounter in urban spaces: The case of Renaissance Venice

Tamsin Prideaux (University of Glasgow)
Streets, Squares, and Shops: Uncovering everyday encounters in late renaissance Venice

Alexandros Hatzikiriakos (University of St Andrews)
The Sonic and Visual Perception of the Greek-Speaking Diaspora in Early Modern Venice

11:30-13:00 – Naples and Palermo
Chair: Sandra Toffolo

Anna Clara Basilicò, (University of Padua and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice)
‘Haziendo Burla de las Mugeres Cristianas que no se Lavan’: Christian and Muslim Cellmates in Palermo (1609-1640)

Lucio Oriani (Independent scholar, Naples)
Aragonese Global Naples Through the Lens of Illuminated Manuscripts

Laura Incollingo (USTC project)
’Al dì de lo corpo de Christo, ogn’homo sia listo.’ An overview of Spanish influence on Neapolitan culture

14:00-16:00 – Walking Tour with
Alessandro Paris

16:00-18:00 – Encounters, Real and Imagined
Chair: Federica Gigante

Roger J. Crum (zoom), (University of Dayton)
Encounters Elsewhere without Leaving Home: Distant Lands, Imaged Others, and the Virtuality of Foreign Encounter in Florentine Renaissance Art

Maria Gloria Tumminelli (University of Cambridge)
Crossing border. A Gypsies’ Family Between Three Lands: Duchy of Milan, Venetian Mainland and Duchy of Mantua (16th-17th Centuries)

Marina Inì (University of Cambridge)
Space, Diversity, and Encounters: The Management of the Dead in Early Modern Italy


Wednesday 17 April – People

9:30-11:00 – Identities and Networks
Chair: Alexandros Hatzikiriakos

Annemie Leemans (zoom), (University of Antwerp)
‘Noi altri d’Italia’. Don Giulio Clovio and his Vibrant International Artistic Network

Shulamit Furstenberg-Levi (zoom), (Scuola Lorenzo de Medici, Florence)
An Alternative Space: Encounters between Jewish & Christian Intellectuals in Early Sixteenth-Century Naples

Karin Sprang (University of Warwick)
Trading Friendship: Transalpine Encounters in the Album Amicorum of Joachim Weyermann (1606-1613)

Katalin Prajda (University of Vienna)
Material Exchanges and Migration in Early Renaissance Italy: The Testimony of a Florentine Family Memoir

11:30-13:00 – Roundtable Discussion
Chair: Rosa Salzberg

“Dear participants, please note that lunches and coffee breaks are reserved exclusively for speakers. Thank you for your understanding.”


Italian Renaissance Objects and Spaces of Encounter is a project funded by The Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK)



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