ONLINE ART HISTORY COURSE
Eleonora of Toledo: Graces, Gifts and Gardens in Medici Florence
Eleonora di Toledo is one of the most famous women of the Medici family. Through her marriage to Grand Duke Cosimo I, she allowed the Medici line to flourish down to the 18th century. Eleonora brought new Spanish court manners and style to Florence, for which she was both praised and insulted. But she also adhered to Florentine traditions and asserted Medici power.
In this 3-week course, we’ll explore how Eleonora’s Spanish heritage affected her role as Florence’s first lady, and how she adapted to her new city. As a noblewoman and Duchess, Eleonora was expected to demonstrate grace and decorum. She maintained diplomatic and familial ties through gifts and artistic exchanges. Eleonora also expanded the Medici imprint on Florence by purchasing the Palazzo Pitti and designing the large gardens now known as the Boboli Gardens. In the last week, we’ll learn how grazia affected Mannerist sculpture in the work of artists Eleonora employed, such as Niccolò Tribolo and Bartolomeo Ammannati, husband of the famous poet Laura Battiferra.
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 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 Sixteenth Century concepts of grace (grazia) in Italian Renaissance courts, particularly that of Eleonora di Toledo
- To investigate Eleonora di Toledo’s role in Italian garden design
- To consider Spanish influence in sixteenth-century Florence
- To recognize some sixteenth-century sculpture and formulate a working definition of Mannerism
Virtual Classroom: Upon registration, participants will have full access to an online educational platform with videos of recordings, syllabus, readings and discussion forum. Each lecture lasts around 1 hour 15 minutes.
Credits: Certificate of Completion
Access: Students have lifetime and unlimited streaming access to the course content.
Readings are provided to students to enhance the course experience.