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Event Details

Tue, April 10, 2018

18:00 – 19:00

Villa La Pietra
Via Bolognese, 120
50139 Firenze, Italia

A lecture by Emanuele Lugli, York University.

Since late medieval times, hairstyles denoted class so powerfully that undoing them, or even dreaming so, shook souls. Hair was in a way untouchable. It was also incomprehensible: the tiniest thing in nature and a threshold between life and death. This talk shows the ways by which one of the most ordinary and yet alien body parts fueled the ingenuity of writers such as Boccaccio and artists such as Botticelli. The lecture sees hair as lines, as artistic matter, and as a means to think about the complexity of clouds and whirlpools. By looking closely at some of the works Botticelli produced in the 1470s, it asks questions about whether early modern art succeeded in suggesting vitality, arousing desire, and re-creating the ineffable pleasure that Boccaccio saw in labyrinthine coiffures.

Featured Biographies

Emanuele Lugli


Emanuele Lugli (Ph.D. Institute of Fine Arts/NYU) teaches at the History of Art Department of the University of York, UK, where he researches and writes about art, architecture and visual culture in late medieval and early modern Italy, with a particular emphasis on science, trade, technology, and trans-regional intellectual connections. His theoretical concerns include questions of scale and labor, the history of measurements, conceptualizations of precision, vagueness, smallness, and the reach of cultural networks. His first book, Unità di Misura: Breve Storia del Metro in Italia, was published by Il Mulino in 2014. His second book, The Making of Measure and the Promise of Sameness, will come out for the University of Chicago Press by late 2018. Besides his academic publications, he also writes for newspapers such as The Guardian, architectural magazines like Abitare, and Vogue.