Nature’s secretaries: Renaissance women and the art of writing artless letters

27 January 2016 - 18:00

Lecture by Lisa Kaborycha


Pietro Aretino described the process of composing his celebrated letters as being ‘secretary to Nature herself.’ In this Renaissance conceit, with sprezzatura the author simply writes down what Nature dictates. To a male writer, writing letters that appeared ‘natural’ and effortless could be considered the height of artistry, but how would a Renaissance woman approach the creative process? This talk considers the letters written by Renaissance women and explores how they chose to express themselves in their own words through their correspondence.