Taking as axiomatic the concept that artistic output does not simply reflect culture but also shapes it, the essays in this interdisciplinary collection take a holistic approach to the cultural fashioning of sexualities, drawing on visual art, theatre, music, and literature, in sacred and secular contexts. Although there is diversity in disciplinary approach, the interpretations and readings offered in each essay have a historical basis. Approaching the topic from the point of view of both visual and auditory media, this volume paints a comprehensive picture of artists’ challenges to erotic boundaries, and contributes to new historicizing thinking on sexualities. Collectively, the essays demonstrate the role played by artistic production-visual arts, literature, theatre and music-in fashioning, policing, and challenging early modern sexual boundaries, and thus help to identify the ways in which the arts contributed to both the disciplining and the exploration of a range of sexualities.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: playing with boundaries, Melanie L. Marshall, Linda L. Carroll and Katherine A. McIver. Part I Performing Sexuality: Visual pleasures, sensual sounds: music, morality, and sexuality in paintings by Titian, Katherine A. McIver; ’Galeotto fu la metafora’: language and sex in Boccaccio’s Decameron, Catherine Baxter; ’Balla la mona e salta il babuino’: performing obscenity in a musical dialogue, Paul Schleuse. Part II The Erotics of Religion: Sexuality and depictions of the female saint in medieval Tuscany, Catherine Lawless; Leonine lasciviousness and Luther, Anthony M. Cummings; The Roman Church and sexuality: some notes on prelates and regular clergy in sixteenth-seventeenth-century Italian courts, Flavio Rurale. Part III Images of Country Life, Realistic and Artistic: Tradition and gender transgression: the iconography of the shepherd couple in Venetian pastoral landscape during the sixteenth century, Christophe Brouard; ’(El) ge sa bon laorare’: female wealth, male competition, musical festivities, and the Venetian patriciate in Ruzante’s pavan, Linda L. Carroll; ’FarÃ² quel che mi piacerÃ ’: fictional women in villotta voice resistance, Melanie L. Marshall. Bibliography; Index.
'The contributors to this volume provide a series of vivid episodes that enliven our appreciation of the differences, as well as similarities, between explicit expression both early and modern.' Renaissance Studies
'... if the purpose of a potpourri is to please, this collection has succeeded in its objectives: it will be useful to both scholars and students, and the musical scores will enrich the Renaissance repertoire.' Renaissance Quarterly