Associate Professor of Art History
Department of History, Villanova University
“’Ussire da le cose de putti et fare le cose de homo’: Material Culture, Courtly Gifts, and Masculinity in Early Renaissance Italy”
For a Renaissance boy to become a lord – and “leave behind childish things and do manly things” as Francesco Sforza duke of Milan instructed his son Galeazzo – required that he perform and embody values which were, at once, martial and amorous, enthralling and violent, domineering and charismatic. This demanded not only models to follow, but objects to possess, wear, and command. Attentive to the agency and even volition of material culture, we will investigate the sorts of things – brocaded garments and hunting animals in particular – that lords wielded, gave, and displayed to fashion and demonstrate ideals of courtly masculinity in fifteenth-century Italy.