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Trinita Kennedy to Lecture on Italian Renaissance Marriage Chests on February 6

Posted by on Friday, February 1, 2019 in Events, HART, Lectures, News, Vanderbilt University, VRC.

Elaborately decorated wooden wedding chests known as cassoni were an integral part of Italian marriage rituals during the Renaissance. Commissioned in pairs and shaped like ancient sarcophagi, they were paraded from the bride’s house to her husband’s after the wedding. Throughout the marriage the chests provided storage and seating and were among the most prestigious furnishings in the home.Trojan_Horse_Museo_Stibbert-700x221In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Anglo-Italian art collector Frederick Stibbert (1838–1906) assembled an extraordinary collection of Italian Renaissance marriage chests and panels. Usually housed in the Stibbert Museum in Florence, Italy, these works of art are being seen in the United States for the first time in the exhibition Life, Love & Marriage Chests in Renaissance Italy, now on view through February 16 at the Frist Art Museum.

Trinita Kennedy, curator of the Frist Art Museum, will explore why and how these chests were made and the fabulous stories they tell in a presentation on Wednesday, February 6, at 11:10 am in Calhoun Hall 109.

Cassoni tell stories and teach edifying lessons relevant to marriage. Heroic epics by ancient Roman and Greek authors, such as Ovid and Homer, are popular sources for the stories, as are the fourteenth-century poetic writings of Boccaccio, Dante, and Petrarch.

Sponsored by the Department of French and Italian, the Max Kade Center for European and German Studies, and the Department of History of Art, Kennedy’s presentation is free and open to the public.

*Bernardo di Stefano Roselli (?) (b. 1450, Florence; d. 1526, Florence). Panel from a Marriage Chest (cassone) with Trojan Horse Scene, ca. 1470. Tempera and gold on panel, 19 1/4 x 50 3/8 in. Collection of Museo Stibbert, Florence, Italy.

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