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.

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1.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

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.

2.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.

3.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.

4.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.

5.Cover: The Italian Renaissance of Machines

The Italian Renaissance of Machines

Galluzzi, Paolo
Mandelbaum, Jonathan

The Renaissance was a rebirth of art and literature—and of machines. In this lavishly illustrated volume, Paolo Galluzzi guides readers through a singularly inventive period featuring Taccola’s and da Vinci’s fusion of artistry and engineering and new concepts of learning that enabled Galileo’s revolutionary mathematical science of mechanics.

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Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene