Arianna Rigamonti (RCM) - 2021-22 Students

Exploring the Institutional Foundations of Climate Change Litigation

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries have been defined as ‘the age of the marvellous’ for the insatiable research for anything that produces emotional response of wonder, surprise, astonishment. Italian Renaissance courts were places of luxurious festivals with theatrical and musical performances, and displays of collections of objects of marvel. Within this cultural environment, musical instruments found their place among marvellous objects and were considered not only tools to produce sounds, but also objects of wonder and visual fulfilment. ‘Sounding marvels’ include physical extraordinary objects desired by collectors and played by musicians, as well as imaginary inventions designed by an artist’s pencil or crated by a performer’s imagination. Through the analysis and combination of surviving instruments, iconography and literary sources relative to selected historical collections, this research explores the creative process and circulation of these objects, and discusses their functionality. By assessing their cultural and aesthetical impact within the late Renaissance Italian culture of marvel, this study revaluates such musical instruments and their representations in museum collections.

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