Game Boards in Counter-Reformation Italy
Kelli Wood: Parody, Pleasure, and Play in Print:Game Boards in Counter-Reformation Italy
Thursday, April 6
Digital Worlds Institute–Norman Gym, Room 120
Refreshments will be served
This talk explores the emergence of printed gameboards in Rome in the last decades of the sixteenth century in the context of a multiplicity of audiences engaged with both a pervasive culture of gaming and the moralizing concerns of the Counter Reformation. Despite their quality of artistry, ubiquity, and production by printmakers also involved in other important artistic projects and book publications, these printed gameboards have been seldom considered by academic scholarship. By looking at these prints in their context as a whole — as aesthetic objects made by artists in conversation with one another, as commodities printed and sold by publishers, as systems for conveying and organizing information, and as games that were played with and used — we can better understand not only the significance of these objects themselves, but also how prints functioned and contributed to visual culture in Italy at the turn of the seventeenth century. The visual vocabulary of these games reveals a conversation between popular culture and court culture, a tension between the prescribed morality of the Counter-Reformation and the everyday games common both in courtly leisure and play on the street and in the tavern.
DR. KELLI WOOD is one of the UF College of the Arts Outstanding Young Alumni (BA Art History ‘08). She is now an Assistant Professor, History of Art, and Postdoctoral Scholar, Michigan Society of Fellows, University of Michigan.