Showing posts from October, 2012

Isabella D'Este, the Grand Lady of Renaissance

EBJ- Series: Legendary Women in History painting by Titian   Born in Ferrara (1474), and the eldest of six children, Isabella was raised in a household where culture, politics and the arts were ever-present.   Her parents’ favourite, Isabella was extremely intelligent and a delightful conversationalist. She was such an avid learner of politics that by the age of sixteen she was already debating with ambassadors and politicians.   Sixteen was also the age she married her betrothed, Francesco Gonzaga, Marquis of Mantua and General of the Venetian army (she actually knew–and was promised to him since the age of six!).   With a flair for fashion, an eye for great art work, a passion for music and literature, a love of history and languages, and a knack for politics- this blonde beauty also had charisma to boot. Not only could Isabella influence fashion and set trends, renowned artists such as Titian, Raphael, and the great Leonardo- all regularly spent time earning her

Those Scandalous Etruscan Women

Those Scandalous Etruscan Women By Barbara Lambert Author The Whirling Girl If there were a prize for getting unfairly bad-mouthed in ancient history, Etruscan women would likely win hands down. The Greeks and later Romans said terrible things about them: lascivious, lewd, sybaritic, totally out of control. Imagine! Etruscan women “attended banquets” where they “sat under the same blankets as their husbands!” – a behavior that had them compared to hetairai (basically courtesans or prostitutes: the only women allowed at Greek parties). Even Aristotle tut-tutted.              Not only did Etruscan wives scandalously go out in public -- and entertain lavishly, wear glorious jewellery, indulge a clothing sense that is recorded in frescos, statuary, and the bronze mirrors etched with sometimes rather racy scenes that give us fascinating detail of how fashion changed down the centuries – but they also learned to read and write. (We know the danger of that!) The