ONLINE ART HISTORY COURSE
Medici Women: Portraits of Power
The Medici men have been the subject of much study among art historians. But the women – those born as Medici and those who married into the family – were the reason the family line continued and flourished until the Eighteenth Century. In this course, we’ll trace the important influence of the Medici women on the family and city in Renaissance and Baroque Florence through study of letters, portraits, and architectural commissions. Strategic marriage alliances that matched Medici money with a wealth of connections from old Florentine families enabled the family to prosper. Public religious devotion through support of convents and churches by the Medici women warded off some jealous competition, but when the men were exiled, the women stayed behind to manage funds and the family.
In the Sixteenth Century, the role of the Medici women became even more important as the men negotiated marriages into the royal houses of Europe. Portraits were sent abroad, and new brides welcomed into Florence. By the Seventeenth Century the family’s transformation from bankers to princes was complete, and their artistic legacy would be preserved by Ana Maria Luisa de’ Medici, the last of the line, who donated the family’s entire art collection to the Tuscan state.
Dr. Meghan Callahan has lived and worked in London since 2006. Like Rocky, she earned her Master’s degree in Art History from Syracuse University as a Florence Fellow. She has a Ph.D. in Art History from Rutgers University. Meghan is the Assistant Director for Teaching and Learning at Syracuse University London, where she has taught art history and history classes on Italian Art in London and the UK; Women and Art: London and UK; and Underground London.
She worked on the reinstallation of the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and then then with the sculpture dealer Patricia Wengraf. Meghan has published various articles and essays on the architectural patronage of the 16th-century mystic nun Sister Domenica da Paradiso, miraculous paintings in Renaissance Florence, and Italian Renaissance and Baroque sculpture.
- To understand the role of women in establishing and developing the Medici family
- To investigate the role of female portraiture in network building
- To consider Medici women’s patronage of architecture
- To reflect on the importance of letters as primary sources for study of women’s lives in the Renaissance and Baroque eras
Virtual Classroom: Full access to an online educational platform with syllabus, videos of recordings, reading list, podcasts, discussion forum, and more.
Location: LIVE INTERACTIVE ON-LINE ART HISTORY LECTURES
Readings to be provided to students in PDF format prior to the beginning of course.
Complete syllabus will be provided upon registration.
- ALL LECTURES WILL BE RECORDED AND AVAILABLE FOR VIEWING AT YOUR CONVENIENCE IN OUR VIDEO LIBRARY FOR THE DURATION OF THE COURSE