Tag Archives: Renaissance

How to see people naked in Renaissance Italy

How to see naked men Seeing naked or near-naked men in the Renaissance does not seem to have been very difficult. I should point out that looking at naked people is not, necessarily, erotic. Indeed, the word for naked, nudo, … Continue reading

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The Pitfalls of Genius: Leonardo and his frustrated patrons

I’m in the midst of giving several talks and papers – two in the last week, in Birmingham and Glasgow respectively, and one next week in Washington D.C. at the Renaissance Society of America conference. I thought I’d post my … Continue reading

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Another priapic Vitruvian man!

This is just a quick addition to my previous post. One response to Cesariano’s man was a 1536 Italian edition of Vitruvius by Giovanni Battista Caporali. As far as I understand it, the passage about human proportion here was based … Continue reading

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Leonardo’s Measure – The Genitals of Vitruvian Men

There seems to have been something of a genital fixation amongst commentators on Vitruvius’  in the 1490s and early 1500s. Vitruvius’ book on architecture was a favourite for many renaissance theorists, and his small passage about human proportion was revisited … Continue reading

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Humanities Research and New Knowledge: Leonardo, Michelangelo and the Battle Scenes in the Hall of the Great Council

A couple of years ago, I had a student who asked me if it was OK to base her general renaissance reading on a book she’d found in the local library – Heinrich Wölfflin’s Classic Art.  Now, I have a … Continue reading

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Pollaiuolo’s Battle of Naked Africans?

This week has been concerned a strange, but fun, mixture of finalising our renaissance make up recipes for the Making Up the Renaissance study day (finding red sandalwood, allum and vinegar to make lipstick and blusher, for example), and avid … Continue reading

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Men with Breasts (Or Why are Michelangelo’s Women so Muscular?) Part 1

When I give a talk, or run a class that includes work by Michelangelo, generally at some point someone will suggest that Michelangelo’s female figures look like “men with breasts”. I have to admit, that I sometimes deliberately task students … Continue reading

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