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Wednesday 18 March 2020 11.00 - 13.00
T-2 REL04 Early Modern Material and Visual Culture: Home and Beyond
Reuvensplaats 4, 101E
Network: Religion Chairs: -
Organizer: Silvia Evangelisti Discussant: Benedetta Borello
Francesca Cappelletti : Talking Walls. Display of Paintings and Conversation on Art in Roman Baroque Palaces
From the beginning of the 18th century, in Rome, conversation about art which took place in the galleries of aristocratic and patrician homes, became rather common. This included conversations which took place right in front of the actual paintings. Conversazione was the term used to refer to these gatherings that ... (Show more)
From the beginning of the 18th century, in Rome, conversation about art which took place in the galleries of aristocratic and patrician homes, became rather common. This included conversations which took place right in front of the actual paintings. Conversazione was the term used to refer to these gatherings that often saw the presence of European travellers, who were sometimes deceived by the poor state and carelessness in which these art collections were kept, and by the confusion that was associated to these gatherings. This paper aims to investigate the raise of conversation about art as a social practice using the case study of the Giustiniani collection. The developing of conversations in galleries, as well as the debates on the qualities of the various paintings which were displayed, can be also traced in texts like art treatises, biographies, guidebooks, that are still awaiting this kind of analysis.


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Silvia Evangelisti : Paintings, Objects and Texts in the Early Modern Domestic Spaces
My paper investigates the meaning and the use of objects and images in the context of the Early modern domestic environment. A solid body of studies has underlined the extent to which the home functioned as a place for education, in particular for the elites. Indeed, the domestic environment provided ... (Show more)
My paper investigates the meaning and the use of objects and images in the context of the Early modern domestic environment. A solid body of studies has underlined the extent to which the home functioned as a place for education, in particular for the elites. Indeed, the domestic environment provided the material apparatus and the tools for the education of those who lived in it – young and old – in the form of objects and images of various sorts. Relying on probate inventories and wills, my paper seeks to discuss the extent to which the range of objects that circulated in the home were actually used. Furthermore, the paper draws on the scholarly discussion on the agency of objects and their ability to shape people’ actions and behaviour.
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Ana Mafalda Lopes : Widowhood, Urban Space and Survival Strategies in XVIIIth Century Portugal
This paper analyses the impact of widowhood upon women in the city of Porto, an important seaport in this period. The legal status of widows provided them with conditions to maintain their households, to continue the work of their deceased husbands, and to manage lands and properties. However, our sources ... (Show more)
This paper analyses the impact of widowhood upon women in the city of Porto, an important seaport in this period. The legal status of widows provided them with conditions to maintain their households, to continue the work of their deceased husbands, and to manage lands and properties. However, our sources showed that gender bias was harmful to widows, which needed to come to court to obtain royal protection. In this sense, the aim of this work is to analyze what they did to survive in the city, and at which point their actions were constrained by men and authorities. I want to study the solidarities and relationships they created with their neighbors and family in order to overcome these difficulties. The range of available sources is wide: there are petitions, last wills, legislation and guild regulations, which enable analysis of discourse. Furthermore, existing tax books document their households in what corresponds to income, and composition, thus placing these women and their relations in specific settings. (Show less)

Isabel dos Guimarães Sá : Domestic Interiors and Female Agency: some Examples from the Misericórdia do Porto (1500-1700)
A few case studies concerning affluent women who were widows or single by the time they drew their last wills shall be analysed. They deal with women who inherited from husbands, brothers or other relatives who had formed their fortunes in the territories of Iberian expansion (Asia, Brazil, Mexico, Angola). ... (Show more)
A few case studies concerning affluent women who were widows or single by the time they drew their last wills shall be analysed. They deal with women who inherited from husbands, brothers or other relatives who had formed their fortunes in the territories of Iberian expansion (Asia, Brazil, Mexico, Angola). The whole range of documents that derived from the fact that they left their estates, in whole or in part, to the Misericórdia (testaments of their siblings, inventories of mobile property, sale and lease of land, partitions of inheritance) allow for the reconstruction not only their material and visual culture, but also the ways in which these women dealt with male dominated environments. Even if they did not have access to the public civil sphere, they could conduct business, manage their assets, and sometimes run workshops from their homes. As such, their domestic environments, often entirely inhabited by women, were a reflection of the power they exerted within their communities, and an essential element of their social identities.
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