An Amazon in Venice

Detail of Lucas Vorsterman after Peter Paul Rubens, The Battle of the Amazons, 1623, Copperplate Print, 857 × 1202 mm, London, British Museum

Her appearance before the Venetian Senate was not the first time that Lady Arundel had to take action defend her interests in Venice and London. Continue reading “An Amazon in Venice”

Foscarini’s Fall

Cesare Vecellio, The Doge of Venice in the Collegio, 1575, Woodcut, 320×430 mm, London, British Museum

On April 8, 1622, the Doge had Antonio Foscarini, then a member of the Senate, arrested. The Senate accused Foscarini, since his time in London a notorious bon vivant, of high treason and conspiracy. Continue reading “Foscarini’s Fall”

An Affair to Remember

Giacomo Franco, The Doge of Venice with a View of the Piazza di San Marco, c. 1610, Engraving, 253×170 mm, London, British Museum

The print of the Battle of the Amazons shows vividly the armed conflict between the Amazons and the Greeks. Wars were the order of the day in Europe at the time. Continue reading “An Affair to Remember”

Couple Goals @RenSA21

Title slide of my talk this week

This is a meta-post on current events. On April 14 I was part of the panel “Early Modern Women and the Art Market I: Past and Present” at the Annual Conference of the Renaissance Society of America which was held online. Continue reading “Couple Goals @RenSA21”


Astolfo Petrazzi, A Kitchen Maid, c. 1630-40, Oil on Canvas, 101 x 167 cm, Florence, Scala Archive

Natura Exenterata: Or Nature Unbowelled subtitle hooks potential readers with a multitude of keywords characteristic for the genre of the recipe collection. Continue reading “Empiricks”

Secrets Unbowelled

Odoardo Fialetti, Anatomy, 1616, in Giulio Casseri, Tabulae Anatomicae, Venice 1627

The title of the Countess’ collection matches ideas of exploration of nature as a hunt. Since the early 16th century natural philosophy has been regularly described as such a venatio. At the end of the century, the concept of disembowelment or evisceration, originating in the context of the hunt, first appears. Continue reading “Secrets Unbowelled”

Nature as Truth

Harley 4425, f. 140, Guillaume de Lorris/ Jean de Meun, Nature forging a Baby, Roman de la Rose, c. 1490–1500, Illumination, London, British Library

The title of Lady Arundel’s natural philosophy collection could hardly be more gory: Natura Exenterata. The title evokes a personified nature that is hunted down to be gutted and thus exposed to the core. Continue reading “Nature as Truth”

Conveying Cures

Wellcome Western Ms. 213, Liber Comitissae Arundeliae, London, Wellcome Collection

Lady Arundel’s collection of recipes consists primarily of remedies for a wide variety of diseases. The collection goes back to a handwritten book that Aletheia Talbot received as a wedding gift in 1606 from her mother-in-law Anne Dacre Howard, Countess of Arundel, now named Wellcome Western Ms. 213. Continue reading “Conveying Cures”