EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR | “Monsters and Marvels in Renaissance Italy”
Presented by Dr. Meghan Callahan
with Additional Commentary by Dr. Rocky Ruggiero
During the Renaissance, disabilities or genetic differences could be classified as monstrous, marvellous, or a combination of both. Dwarfs, such as the famous Morgante, worked at ducal courts as buffoons and servants. The “marvellous hairy girls” of the Gonzales family, whose father Petrus passed on hypertrichosis universalis, were recorded in a book of historic monsters by Ulisse Aldrovandi and their portraits painted by Lavinia Fontana.
In this talk, we’ll examine the implications on the lives of some of the people classified as marvellous monsters. We’ll also discuss how women were seen as carrying responsibility for the child’s appearance. When unusual births occurred, they were believed to have resulted from shocks to pregnant women or as punishment for irreligious behaviour. Some, such as the Monster of Ravenna, could also be seen of portents of upcoming danger, war, or religious strife.
The webinar will include a 45-minute lecture followed by 15-minutes of Q&A.
- Your participation is confirmed once you have purchased your ticket. You will receive the Zoom link to join the presentation circa 30 minutes before the start time.
- VIDEO RECORDING of the webinar will be available for unlimited streaming at your convenience for 7 days after the event.