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Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - Thursday, July 31, 2008


Splendors of the Renaissance

Princvely Attire in Italy


Splendors of the RenaissanceThe Istituto is invites you to the exhibition "Splendors of the Renaissance. Princely Attire in Italy".

The exhibit will be on view in halls of the Embassy of Italy from June 18th to July 31, 2008
Mon-Fri from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm and from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
RSVP required: (202) 518-0998 ext. 1 or - ID required at the entrance

Originally conceived in 1989, it first opened in 2001-02 in Mantua to then travel through the major cities of Europe, South America, and Canada. Quoting Mr. Fornasari’s introduction: “Our exhibition aims at recreating an important aspect of life at Italian Renaissance courts: the attire of the nobility. Reconstructions of costumes from the mid-fifteenth century to the early seventeenth century bring to life the attire of rulers who used the art of costume, together with the visual arts of painting and sculpture, to enhance their status and proclaim their magnificence.
Few actual Italian court costumes have survived from this period, but visual and written evidence about them is abundant. This includes paintings depicting rulers in ceremonial dress, fragments of original opulent textiles similar to those shown in the paintings, and some clerical vestments traditionally made of the same damasks and velvets worn by secular royalty. There are also numerous archival documents and literary descriptions of court attire. Taken together, these sources make possible the recreation of every aspect of Renaissance court costume: the internal and external construction of the garments, the silk fabrics woven with gold and silver and decorated with embroidery and jewels, and the lavish accessories that were worn with them. Particularly important sources are portraits of Italian rulers and their consorts painted by Renaissance artists. In our exhibition, reproductions of these works of art hang adjacent to the costumed mannequins, giving material substance to the data provided by the portraits. In this manner, two-dimensional works of art are transformed into three-dimensional objects that tell us of the power and nobility of their wearers and vividly evoke the elegance, sumptuousness--and even extravagance--of costume at Italian Renaissance courts.
Our exhibition begins in the mid-fifteenth century with two dresses of the style current at the Este court in Ferrara, followed by a number of examples of male and female princely attire in the sixteenth century, which show the different styles worn at the Gonzaga court in Mantua and the Medici court in Florence. The exhibition continues with court dresses in the international style that prevailed in the late sixteenth century.



Date: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 - Thursday, July 31, 2008

Time: See event description

Venue: Italian Cultural Institute, 3000 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC

Organized by: Italian Cultural Institute in Washington, DC

In collaboration with: N.A.

RSVP required: or (202) 518-0998 ext. 1 - ID required


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