Perché studiare, perché documentare, perché scrivere d’esso — perché no?
I love Florence. Specifically, the Florence of the mid-16th century. The Florence of the Grand Duke and Duchess, Cosimo di Medici and Elenora di Toledo. The Florence of Giovanni Bardi and the Florentine Camerata. The Florence which would create Opera (L’Euridice, 1601) and give license to women as professional musicians.
Opera was the window from my early childhood into my adult life. I live in its present but am always interested in what came before. Who were those people, how did they live, and what caused them to seek the particular expressions that led first to a spectacle to celebrate the wedding of all weddings (La Pellegrina written for the wedding of Ferdinando de Medici, 1598) and then to opera itself. To that end, I have created an avatar, Fiore Leonetta Bardi.
Fiore di Bardi is the illegitimate daughter of Giovanni Bardi (a real person of historical import) and Lucrezia Guarini (an amalgomation of the Women of Ferrara, professional court musicians of the period).
I ponder her life, illegitimacy in 16th century Florence, 16th century Feminism, and Florentine politics. I use the lens of clothing, and other artifacts to better understand. I study the music, poetry, and prose of the Florentine Camerata, not for performance sake, but to better understand Giovanni Bardi and, through him, Opera as it was born.
In this blog, there will be many posts about garment creation and an assortment of other topics related to a fictional life in a very real time. It is important to mention that this is not the beginning of my journey. In some cases, I will documenting garments that I have a decade of experience in creating. Which is to say, if you are also interested in this type of exploration measure yourself to yourself and the rest will take care of itself. I hope you enjoy this herstory.