Raphael and the Ladies: The Prince of Painters and Female Patrons, Collectors, and Viewers
Friday, December 11th at noon (CT).
Organized by Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Chicago, in collaboration with the Center for Renaissance Studies, The Newberry Library
Moderator: Lia Markey
Panelist: Sheryl Reiss
During his all-too-brief career, Raphael of Urbino (1483-1520) frequently benefited from the patronage of women and painted works intended for female viewers ranging from noblewomen to nuns. In Urbino, Città di Castello, and Perugia Raphael created large altarpieces and small, delicate paintings for women and, in what is conventionally called his Florentine period (1504-8), many of his Madonnas were for young wealthy, couples and possibly associated with betrothals, marriages, or childbirth. During his Roman years, Raphael worked for fewer women and repeatedly ignored a commission from female patrons dating to his early years. Raphael’s women patrons and viewers came from different social classes and were often linked via bonds of kinship and friendship. Topics considered in this talk include networks of female patrons that helped to shape the painter’s career; how Raphael catered to women’s tastes in different locales; and how he varied his style to suit different female patrons. A coda will address women who collected paintings by Raphael from the late sixteenth to early twentieth centuries.
Sheryl E. Reiss received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1992 and has lived in Chicago since 2018. She is a Scholar-in-Residence at the Newberry Library and teaches for the Graham School of the University of Chicago, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and the University Club of Chicago. Previously, she has taught at Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Cornell University, the University of California, Riverside, and the University of Southern California. Dr. Reiss is a specialist in Italian Renaissance art and architecture with particular interest in the...