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Animating the table: art and nature in Giulio Romano’s inventions for silverware at the Gonzaga court

Tuesday 13 June, 7pm  

The British Italian Society presents  

The 2023 Charles de Chassiron Memorial Lecture  

Animating the table: art and nature in Giulio Romano’s inventions for silverware at the Gonzaga court  

By Professor Giulio Rebecchini  

After a brief introduction to Giulio Romano’s artistic production in Mantua, the talk will focus on his practice as a designer of objects for the Gonzaga in Mantua. Building on his antiquarian knowledge and on Raphael’s design drawings, Giulio Romano used this field of his activity as a springboard for creative license. In most of his inventions for objects he manipulated natural elements to devise hybrid forms that could be read at different levels: as manifestations of his power of invention, as witty conceits stimulating conversation, and as celebrative references to his patrons. In this way, his pieces of silverware can be seen as animating the table and turning it into a space for the communication of intellectual, cultural and political contents. As designer of buildings, frescoes, stage sets, and even costumes, through his design of domestic objects Giulio Romano aimed at creating a “total work of art” which became a paradigm of civility and an example to follow for the European courts of the sixteenth century.

For further info and booking please write to rhuna@british-Italian.org 

Guido Rebecchini is Reader in Sixteenth-Century Southern European Art at The Courtauld. His research focuses on sixteenth-century Italy, and has published on the arts at Mantua, Florence and Rome, including patronage, collecting, and artistic practices. His last book, The Rome of Paul III: Art, Ritual and Urban Development (Harvey Miller), was published in 2020.

  • Organizzato da: ICI London