Videos: Lecture Online
May 21, 2014
During the early sixteenth century, rulers and courtiers across northern Italy commissioned portraits that not only captured their appearance but also subtly alluded to their status and accomplishments. By examining such portraits — in particular, those of the most fastidious of all patrons, Isabella d'Este — this lecture places Parmigianino's enigmatic Schiava Turca (the subject of the special exhibition) in a larger context. This lecture is made possible by the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.
Parmigianino's exquisite Schiava Turca (Turkish slave) is shrouded in mystery. Who is this woman whose elaborate, almost theatrical, costume inspired an early eighteenth-century writer to give the Renaissance beauty her fantastical name? In this lecture, the guest curator of the special exhibition The Poetry of Parmigianino's "Schiava Turca" presents a new interpretation of the work. Ng's research suggests that the sitter likely held a special status as a poet in the court culture of Northern Italy. This lecture is made possible by the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation.