Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

CRRS Friday Workshop – Ken Bartlett (Toronto): “Venice and Padua after Agnadello: Aldus, Vesalius and the Recovery of the Body Politic”

November 6, 2015 at 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Venice and Padua after Agnadello: Aldus, Vesalius and the Recovery of the Body Politic


Andreas Vesalius’ De corporis humani fabrica libri septem, 1543

Kenneth Bartlett
University of Toronto, Department of History

The Venetian defeat at Agnadello in 1509 almost destroyed the ancient republic and did result in the temporary loss of much of its Terraferma Empire, including the university city of Padua, which had been added to the Venetian dominions in 1405. The university closed during the hostilities and students only began to return after 1517. That year, however, saw another challenge with the opening of the Lutheran revolt, which resulted in the division of the Church and charges of heresy levied against Luther and his adherents in 1521. Both Venice and Padua had substantial numbers of Germans in residence and many had adopted Lutheran beliefs, causing additional difficulties for the republic. The establishment of the Roman Inquisition in 1542 and the pressure to control heterodox printing in Venice, resulting in a Venetian index in 1543, illustrated the need to protect Venice’s unique freedom, thriving printing industry and book trade, as well as ensuring that students and even professors of heterodox or unconventional belief would continue to study and teach Arts, Law and Medicine at Padua. This lecture will argue that it was this unique environment of confessional and political flexibility and enlightened official patronage that resulted in the remarkable efflorescence of scholarship, building and culture in Venice in the decades around mid-century. Thus, the years around the publication of Vesalius’s (1515-64)  in 1543 can be seen as symbolic of the healing of the Venetian body politic.

Kenneth Bartlett is a Professor of History and of Renaissance Studies, a program he helped establish in 1979, at Victoria College in the University of Toronto. He teaches courses ranging from first year to graduate levels, with his research interests in the fields of Anglo-Italian relations in the sixteenth century and Italian humanism. Professor Bartlett was also the founding director of the Office of Teaching Advancement (now CTSI), and founder and director of the Faculty of Arts and Science’s undergraduate experience programs, which include the First-Year Seminars, the Research Opportunities Program and the Independent Experiential Study Program, which won the Northrop Frye Award for excellence and innovation in linking teacher and research. Professor Bartlett was also the founding director of U of T’s Art Centre, and served as a trustee for the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art for 15 years. During his career at the university, which spans over 30 years, he has been the recipient of the Victoria University Excellence in Teaching Award, the Students Administrative Council and Association of Part-Time Students Undergraduate Teaching Award (on two occasions), and the Faculty of Arts and Science Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2005, Professor Bartlett was awarded both the prestigious 3M National Teaching Fellowship and a University of Toronto Arbor Award. In 2007 he was awarded an inaugural LIFT Award by the Province of Ontario and was a finalist in the TVO Best Lecturer Competition. In addition to teaching, he has published A Short History of the Italian Renaissance, The Civilization of the Italian Renaissance, and co-edited (with Margaret McGlynn) The Northern Renaissance and Reformation, as well as over 35 scholarly articles and contributions to books, and several editions and translations of Renaissance texts. He has served as the editor of Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme, and President of the Canadian Society for Renaissance Studies. He has produced five video series on various aspects of Italian Renaissance culture and European civilization, and has also appeared in televisions series such as Museum Secrets.


November 6, 2015
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category: