Renaissance Women as Collectors and Patrons of Art and Culture


Seminar at the University of Copenhagen, 21 September 2006, 10-17

Njalsgade 127, 2300 Cph S, lecture room 27.0.09



10.00: Prof. Lene Østermark-Johansen, Copenhagen: Introduction


Aspects of Female Patronage

Chair: Prof. Lene Østermark-Johansen


10.20: Prof. Sheila ffolliott, Fairfax: European Women Patrons of Art and Architecture, c. 1500-1650: Some Patterns

Women and men actively supported art and architecture in all its forms and maintained relationships with canonical artists.  They operated, however, in a society that prescribed differentiated male and female roles.


11.10: Dr. Clare McManus, Roehampton: Touring Europe: Royal Women and Theatrical Patronage

This paper will discuss Anna of Denmark's English masquing, investigating the physical and symbolic importance of the royal female performer and reading the masque as a European, transnational form.


12.00: Lunch


Individual Patrons

Chair: Prof. Hannemarie Ragn Jensen, Copenhagen


13.00: Dr. Pernille Arenfeldt, Sharjah: Gendered Patronage
Focusing on Anna of Saxony (1532-1585), I will discuss the electress’ patronage of theologians and various medical practitioners (physicians, apothecaries, and “lay practitioners”) with a view to demonstrating some of the ways in which these forms of princely patronage were gendered.


13.50: Prof. Mara R. Wade, Urbana-Champaign: Hedwig, Princess of Denmark and Electress of Saxony (1581-1641)

The Electress Hedwig of Saxony was a noteworthy patron of Michael Praetorius and Heinrich Schütz, revealing that female lines of patronage were important avenues for cultural exchange.


14.40: Coffee


15.00: Dr. Susanna Åkerman, Stockholm: Queen Christina's Neoplatonic Academies
The Stockholm court was in a few years after 1650 lighted up by theatre, ballets, music, ceremonies and humanist and scientific discussions. Queen Christina’s readings among the neoplatonists would later shape her Roman Accademia Reale.


15.50: Dr. Marianne Alenius, Copenhagen: Danish Learned Women – Works, Libraries, Gifts

The European Renaissance phenomenon ”Learned Women” also had its Nordic representatives. The lecture presents them as a group (c. 1500 to 1800), and their libraries and work as patronesses are studied on a micro level.


16.40: Prof. em. Minna Skafte Jensen, Odense: Conclusion


17.00: Refreshment