Art Historian Tim McCall to Lecture on Renaissance Masculinity
Timothy McCall is associate professor of art history, and director of the Art History Program at Villanova University. Tim’s research centers on Italian Renaissance art, and on visual intersections of power and gender (particularly masculinity) more broadly, in addition to histories of fashion and material culture. McCall’s journal articles have appeared in Renaissance Quarterly, Renaissance Studies, Studies in Iconography, and I Tatti Studies, and together with Sean Roberts (UT Art History Lecturer) and Giancarlo Fiorenza, he co-edited Visual Cultures of Secrecy in Early Modern Europe (2013).
McCall’s book Brilliant Bodies (2022) investigates the clothing, adornment, and bodies of men in fifteenth-century Italian courts.
McCall’s Lecture, entitled Velvet Goldmine: Silk, Gold, and Renaissance Masculinity, will take place Thursday, September 8, 2022, at 5:30 pm in the McCarty Auditorium (Room 109).
Fifteenth-century Italian courts put men on display. Here, men were peacocks, attracting attention with scintillating brocades, shining armor, sparkling jewels, and glistening swords, spurs, and sequins. McCall’s investigation of these spectacular masculinities challenges widely held assumptions about appropriate male display and adornment. Brilliant Bodies describes and recontextualizes the technical construction and cultural meanings of attire, casts a critical eye toward the complex and entangled relations between bodies and clothing, and explores the negotiations among makers, wearers, and materials. This groundbreaking study of masculinity makes an important intervention in the history of male ornamentation and fashion by examining a period when the public display of splendid men not only supported but also constituted authority.