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Art and Love

The exhibition is made possible by the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Additional support is provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Additional support is provided by the Charles Bloom Foundation.

The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth.

It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

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Isabella Rossellini and Philippe de Montebello Read Poetry on the Nature of Love

Program information

Poetry and art were inextricably linked in the Renaissance, and never more so than when the subject was love. Artists were inspired by the language of Boccaccio, Petrarch, Pietro Bembo, and Pietro Aretino, and poets in turn looked to the ravishing paintings of Botticelli, Palma il Vecchio, and Titian for their imagery.

In conjunction with the exhibition Art and Love in Renaissance Italy (on view November 18, 2008–February 16, 2009), the Museum held the event "The Language of Love in the Italian Renaissance" in December 2008. In these excerpts, Metropolitan Museum Director Emeritus Philippe de Montebello and actress Isabella Rossellini read in Italian, English, and French from great love poems and dialogues on the nature of love, including Bronzino's "Della cipolla," Louise Labé's "Élégiés XVII," and "The Fifth Day"—the eighth story from The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio.

Recorded December 9, 2008

The exhibition is made possible by the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
Additional support is provided by The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

Art and Love in Renaissance Italy

November 18, 2008–February 16, 2009

Accompanied by a catalogue

This exhibition explores the various exceptional objects created to celebrate love and marriage in the Italian Renaissance. The approximately 150 objects, which date from about 1400 to the mid-sixteenth century, range from exquisite examples of maiolica and jewelry given as gifts to the couple, to marriage portraits and paintings that extol sensual love and fecundity, such as the Metropolitan's Venus and Cupid by the great Venetian artist Lorenzo Lotto. The exhibition also includes some of the rarest and most significant pieces of Renaissance glassware, cassone panels, birth trays, and drawings and prints of amorous subjects.