Event Title

Venetian Mythology in Material: Sixteenth-Century Needle Lace

Research Mentor(s)

Berzal de Dios, Javier

Description

The study of lace as an early modern Venetian textile provides unique insight into the liminalities of life. However, as both one of the most expensive of all fashionable textiles and one of the cheapest of home-made trimmings, lace simultaneously represents new trends and antiquated tradition. In addition to serving complex societal functions, Venetian lace was exclusively produced by women in convents, non-guild workshops or private homes with little official documentation. Much of the extant documentation comes from the vast number of printed lace and embroidery pattern books. More than 150 titles were printed in an estimated 400 editions between 1523 and 1700. For early modern Italians, clothing conveyed status, self-image, social affiliation and a means to modify the perception of the body, and records of clothing were considered as vitally important for posterity as that of ancient customs. Venetian lace represented a vitally important symbolic language, encompassing anthropological, psychological and social meanings. Lace provides a material means to understand early modern Venetians as a complex society, engaging with creativity and mythos in performance of their civic identity. This presentation will explore Venetian negotiations with myth and materiality through lacework as an ascendant medium, examining sixteenth-century art, pattern books and legend.

Document Type

Event

Start Date

May 2020

End Date

May 2020

Department

Art History

Genre/Form

student projects, posters

Type

Image

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 18th, 9:00 AM May 22nd, 5:00 PM

Venetian Mythology in Material: Sixteenth-Century Needle Lace

The study of lace as an early modern Venetian textile provides unique insight into the liminalities of life. However, as both one of the most expensive of all fashionable textiles and one of the cheapest of home-made trimmings, lace simultaneously represents new trends and antiquated tradition. In addition to serving complex societal functions, Venetian lace was exclusively produced by women in convents, non-guild workshops or private homes with little official documentation. Much of the extant documentation comes from the vast number of printed lace and embroidery pattern books. More than 150 titles were printed in an estimated 400 editions between 1523 and 1700. For early modern Italians, clothing conveyed status, self-image, social affiliation and a means to modify the perception of the body, and records of clothing were considered as vitally important for posterity as that of ancient customs. Venetian lace represented a vitally important symbolic language, encompassing anthropological, psychological and social meanings. Lace provides a material means to understand early modern Venetians as a complex society, engaging with creativity and mythos in performance of their civic identity. This presentation will explore Venetian negotiations with myth and materiality through lacework as an ascendant medium, examining sixteenth-century art, pattern books and legend.