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

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.

Produced by Christopher Noey
Camera: Aaron Griffin and Derrick Williams
Editor: Kate Farrell

Works of art appearing in the video:

Antonio del Pollaiulo (Italian, Florentine, 1431–1498), Apollo and Daphne (detail), possibly 1460s. Oil (?) on panel (possibly cypress), 11 5/8 x 7 7/8 in. (29.5 x 20 cm). The National Gallery, London. Wynn Ellis Bequest, 1876 (NG928)

Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi) (Italian, Florentine, 1444/45–1510) and workshop, Nastagio in the Pinewoods of Ravenna, 1483. Tempera on panel, 32 5/8 x 54 3/8 in. (83 x 138 cm). Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi) (Italian, Florentine, 1444/45–1510) and workshop, Nastagio Witnesses the Punishment of Guido deglio Anastagi and His Beloved, 1483. Tempera on panel, 32 1/4 x 54 3/8 in. (82 x 138 cm). Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Botticelli (Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi) (Italian, Florentine, 1444/45–1510) and workshop, The Banquet in the Pinewoods, 1483. Tempera on panel, 33 1/8 x 56 in. (84 x 142 cm). Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (2840)

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