Online Lecture: ‘Luxury handguns at the Renaissance courts,’ Catherine Fletcher, The Warburg Institute via Zoom, 24th May 2002, 15:30-17:00 (BST)

Catherine Fletcher (Manchester Metropolitan University): ‘Luxury handguns at the Renaissance courts’ 

By the early sixteenth century, handguns had become an important technology of warfare. European cultural attitudes towards these new objects were ambivalent. In literature firearms were often described as diabolical and unchivalrous. Yet at the same time a gift culture developed around guns. They were assimilated into the world of the court, where designs of firearms and accessories echoed those of fashionable clothes, textiles and furniture. Using a series of examples from museum collections, this talk will investigate the ways that sixteenth-century guns became ‘civilized’.

This event is part of the A Material World: Ritual, which brings together academics and heritage professionals from a wide range of disciplines to discuss issues concerning historical objects, their materials, forms, and functions, as well as their conservation, presentation, display, and reconstruction.

Organisers: Rembrandt Duits (Acting Curator, The Photographic Collection, The Warburg Institute) and Louisa McKenzie (PhD student, The Warburg Institute).

All sessions during 2021-2022 will be delivered online.



Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

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