Memory Palaces in the Renaissance - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Memory Palaces in the Renaissance

Search for:
Visiting Expert

Memory Palaces in the Renaissance

The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London

Get Directions

  • Tuesday 26 January 2016
    PLEASE NOTE: This Date Has Passed
    5:30 pm - 6:45 pm

    Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN

Speakers include

  • Professor Lina Bolzoni : Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa

Organised by

  • Dr Scott Nethersole: The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • Dr Guido Rebecchini : The Courtauld Institute of Art
Open to all, free admission

The ancient tradition of the art of memory builds palaces in the mind in which to place images that help us to remember. While this tradition may at first sight appear radically remote from the world we live in today, it nevertheless regularly resurfaces in different forms. I would like to describe the most famous ‘theatre of memory’ of the Renaissance, the Theatre of Giulio Camillo, and draw comparisons with some other ‘memory palaces’ of the 20th Century. Giulio Camillo  appears to be quite an eccentric figure. He was a poet and master in the art of rhetoric, a magician and an alchemist, and a friend of many poets and great artists (amongst them Titian) who in the mid-Cinquecento devised a utopian project: a theatre of memory meant to contain all the existent knowledge and to offer models for the production of new texts and new images. What were the grounds for that project? And why is it still alive, for some aspects, in several 20th-century projects, such as The Encyclopaedic Palace of Marino Auriti, which opened the Venice Biennale in 2013?

Share This

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Close
×