Caravaggio: Symbols of Fashion in Rome and Milan with Sara Magister - Context Travel

Caravaggio: Symbols of Fashion in Rome and Milan with Sara Magister


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Join a published Caravaggio author as we virtually follow in the footsteps of Renaissance Venetian and Milanese masters. Through the lens of fashion, we’ll explore velvets, laces, and symbols of fashion during Caravaggio’s time in the region of Lombardy (where Milan is located). We’ll learn about the background that Caravaggio brought to Rome with him, revolutionizing and deepening the communicative power and meaning of his celebrated artworks.

When one thinks of Milan, fashion comes to mind and there’s no wonder why. The roots of modern Italian fashion date back to late 16th century Milan and there are plenty of art sources to tell us what was the ‘mode’ at the time. The city was one of the most important Italian fashion districts, thanks to the business policies of the dukes, and Leonardo da Vinci’s engineering. Yet silk and velvet production in the Lombardy area had a huge effect on the figurative arts more so than elsewhere in Italy at the time. We’ll discuss why painters from Northern Italy, such as Gerolamo Savoldo, Giovan Battista Moroni, Lorenzo Lotto, Titian, attended so highly to depicting contemporary fashion trends as we explore Renaissance artworks together.

It was in this context that Michelangelo Merisi called Caravaggio (1573-1610), the talented painter of both light and reality, grew up and was trained. We will discuss how he developed an impressive mastery and sensibility in the description of the clothes of different social classes but also gave them a new and deeper symbolic and narrative meaning. Through the meticulous depictions of clothing in his artworks, he was able to demonstrate a more intense story behind the figures and portraits within his paintings.

Led by art historian, professor, and published Caravaggio author Sara Magister, this interactive discussion will explore the theme of fashion and contemporary clothing through the work of Caravaggio and other Renaissance masters. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a deeper knowledge of Lombardy and Venetian fashion and how it played an important role in the figurative arts in the late 16th century and beyond.

Sara is an art historian with doctoral degrees in Medieval and Modern Art History and Classical Antiquities. She is the author of a book, published by the Accademia dei Lincei, on the antiquities collection of Pope Julius II and has written various articles in important scholarly journals on the history of Renaissance and Baroque collections. More recently, she had published a book on some of the most famous paintings of Caravaggio in Rome which introduces a new interpretation of the works, based on philological data, and which is changing the way we look at this artist.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.