The Bernard Berenson Lectures on the Italian Renaissance are a series given at Villa I Tatti in Florence each year by a distinguished scholar of the art, politics, religion, science, philosophy, or literature of the Italian Renaissance. Distillations of a lifetime of research, the lectures and the book that ensues are meant to engage the most lively issues of the field in original ways while remaining of interest to the general reading public.

Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.

Sort by title, author, format, publication date, or price »
Cover: The Culture Wars of the Late Renaissance: Skeptics, Libertines, and Opera

The Culture Wars of the Late Renaissance: Skeptics, Libertines, and Opera

Muir, Edward

Edward Muir explores an era of cultural innovation that promoted free inquiry in the face of philosophical and theological orthodoxy, advocated libertine morals, critiqued the tyranny of aristocratic fathers over their daughters, and expanded the theatrical potential of grand opera. In so doing, he reveals the distinguished past of today’s culture wars, including debates about the place of women in society, the clash between science and faith, and the power of the arts to stir emotions.

Cover: Friendship, Love, and Trust in Renaissance Florence

Friendship, Love, and Trust in Renaissance Florence

Kent, Dale

Dale Kent explores the meaning of love and friendship as they were represented in the fifteenth century, particularly the relationship between heavenly and human friendship.

Cover: The Early Renaissance and Vernacular Culture

The Early Renaissance and Vernacular Culture

Dempsey, Charles

Why do the paintings and poetry of the Italian Renaissance—a celebration of classical antiquity—also depict the Florentine countryside populated with figures dressed in contemporary silk robes and fleur-de-lys crowns? Charles Dempsey argues that a fusion of classical form with contemporary content was the defining characteristic of the period.

Cover: Giotto and His Publics: Three Paradigms of Patronage

Giotto and His Publics: Three Paradigms of Patronage

Gardner, Julian

This probing analysis of three of Giotto’s major works and the patrons who commissioned them goes beyond the clichés of Giotto as the founding figure of western painting. It traces the interactions between Franciscan friars and powerful bankers and illuminates the complex interactions between mercantile wealth and the iconography of poverty.

The Digital Dictionary of American Regional English [website screenshot]