Laura S. Ventura Nieto

Laura S. Ventura Nieto
Royal Holloway, University of London | RHUL · Doctoral School

PhD in Music

About

31
Publications
530
Reads
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1
Citation
Citations since 2016
22 Research Items
1 Citation
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20162017201820192020202120220123456
Introduction
Laura finished her PhD in September 2017 at Royal Holloway, with a dissertation on iconographic depictions of female musicians produced in Italy (c. 1520-c. 1650)
Additional affiliations
November 2020 - November 2020
Conservatori Superior de Música de les Balears
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Lecture
October 2019 - December 2019
Royal Holloway, University of London
Position
  • Research Assistant
Description
  • MU1111 Practical Musicianship
January 2019 - March 2019
Royal Holloway, University of London
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • MU3424 Music and Gender
Education
October 2013 - September 2017
Royal Holloway, University of London
Field of study
  • Musicology
October 2012 - September 2013
Royal Holloway, University of London
Field of study
  • Musicology
September 2008 - June 2012

Publications

Publications (31)
Chapter
On Catharina van Hemessen, Girl Playing the Virginals (1548), Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne (WRM 0654). [Upcoming]
Article
Music, Gender and the Erotic in Italian Visual Culture – Early Music special issue, eds. Tim Shephard and Samantha Chan [submitted]
Thesis
This project investigates how female musicians were imagined, constructed and represented between c. 1520 and c. 1650, focusing on depictions (e.g. paintings, drawings, woodcuts) produced in Italy as primary sources. It interprets these visual representations as multi-layered gender performances constituted by a multiplicity of gazes (for instance,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This symposium is a joint student-staff initiative welcoming participation from all Departments across the School of Performing and Digital Arts and the School of Humanities. Debates about decolonisation cover a wide range of areas from history and heritage to art and education, and they form a part of postcolonial cultures and identity politics. I...
Conference Paper
Lavinia Fontana’s musical self-portrait has been discussed by both art historians and musicologists in several studies since the 1980s. All of these analyses agree on characterising this tiny paining as a wedding portrait, in which Fontana depicts herself as an affluent lady, educated in Latin and an amateur musician: the perfect lady of the court...
Conference Paper
The courtesan, that enticing woman that lures men with her unlimited arts of seduction, was a ubiquitous character in the artistic productions of the Italian Cinquecento. Much more than a regular high-class prostitute, sixteenth-century sources construct the courtesan as a character that ‘[engaged] in relatively exclusive exchanges of artistic grac...
Article
Full-text available
From 3 to 6 July, the Campus of the Musik-Akademie in Basel was the location of the 47th edition of the Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference. The biggest so far, the 2019 Med-Ren offered a programme with almost 300 papers organized into five, and sometimes six, parallel sessions. As was to be expected, this impressive programme combined very t...
Conference Paper
The courtesan, that enticing woman that lures men with her unlimited arts of seduction, was a ubiquitous character in the artistic productions of the Italian Cinquecento. Much more than a regular high-class prostitute, sixteenth-century sources construct the courtesan as a character that ‘[engaged] in relatively exclusive exchanges of artistic grac...
Conference Paper
The courtesan, that enticing woman that lures men with her unlimited arts of seduction, was a ubiquitous character in the artistic productions of the Italian Cinquecento. Much more than a regular high-class prostitute, sixteenth-century sources construct the courtesan as a character that ‘[engaged] in relatively exclusive exchanges of artistic grac...
Conference Paper
Extant sixteenth-century sources have consistently demonstrated the importance of musical education in the upbringing of Flemish girls. Yet, the first book printed by Christopher Plantin, La institutione di una fanciulla nata nobilmente (1555), epitomises some of the extremely conservative views on female education, which described music as an inap...
Conference Paper
El autorretrato musical de la pintora italiana Lavinia Fontana (1552-1664) ha sido abordado tanto por historiadores del arte como por musicólogos en infinidad de estudios desde los años ochenta. Todos estos análisis coinciden en considerar esta pequeñísima pintura como un retrato nupcial en el que Fontana se presenta a la manera de una mujer adiner...
Article
Full-text available
Review of Jonathan E. Glixon, Mirrors of Heaven or Worldly Theaters? Venetian Nunneries and their Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017).
Conference Paper
Some of the spiritual practices in vogue in the decades surrounding the Council of Trent (1545-1563) were extremely eroticised. For example, mysticism had a sense of religiosity lived through corporeal experiences, including visions and the belief in a mystic union with Christ. The Spanish nun Saint Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) in her writings narra...
Article
Full-text available
Review of the Medieval and Renaissance Music Conference held in Prague in 2017.
Conference Paper
According to Michel Foucault, the construction of symbolic meaning during the early modern period was determined by the episteme of resemblance. Following this, in the late 1990s musicologists such as Gary Tomlinson adopted notions of resemblance to explain features of sixteenth-century music, such as text-setting. Moreover, the recent study The An...
Article
Full-text available
Book review of Paul Schleuse, Singing games in early modern Italy. The music books of Orazio Vecchi (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2015).
Article
Full-text available
Conference Paper
Early modern Catholicism included some spiritual practices that were extremely eroticised. For example, mysticism had a sense of religiosity lived through corporeal experiences, including visions and the belief in a mystic union with Christ. The Spanish nun Saint Teresa of Ávila (1515-1582) in her writings narrating her visions include highly eroti...
Article
Full-text available
Book review of Eroticism in early modern music, ed. Bonnie J. Blackburn and Laurie Stras (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015).
Conference Paper
A partir de 1500, la educación musical era considerada una asignatura necesaria en la educación humanista, tanto para hombres como para mujeres. El cortesano (1528) de Baldessare Castiglione tuvo una gran importancia en la construcción de la figura del perfecto cortesano y de su equivalente femenino, la dama de la corte o donna di palazzo, una muje...
Article
Full-text available
Book review of Sexualities, textualities, art and music in early modern Italy. Playing with boundaries, ed. Melanie L. Marshall, Linda L. Carroll and Katherine A. McIver (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014); Gender and song in early modern England, ed. Leslie C. Dunn and Katherine R. Larson (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014).
Conference Paper
From the 1500s onwards, music education was considered a necessary subject in the humanist education of both male and female individuals. Baldessare Castiglione’s Il cortegiano (1528) had a great importance in the construction of the figure of the perfect male courtier and his female counterpart, the female courtier or donna di palazzo, a woman tha...
Conference Paper
Los escritores de libros especializados en conducta tenían los instrumentos de viento en baja consideración. Según Baldassare Castiglione ‘la causa desto es la aspereza dellos, que encubre o quita aquella suavidad mansa que tan propiamente y bien se asienta en las mujeres’. Además, la distorsión de la cara de su intérprete mientras toca y su forma...
Conference Paper
Wind instruments were frowned upon by early-modern conduct-book writers such as Baldassare Castiglione ‘because the boisterousness of them doth cover and take away that sweet mildness which setteth so forth evrie deede that a woman doeth.’ Moreover, their distortion of their player’s face during the performance and their phallic shape turned them i...
Conference Paper
The stringed keyboard (spinet, virginals, clavichord) was considered the feminine instrument par excellence during the sixteenth century and it was preferred among female performers because it enabled them to fulfil their dual purpose, that is, to be chaste and accomplished at the same time. Thus, endless representations of beautiful and accomplish...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Los artistas del siglo XVI representaban a las mujeres practicando música de muy diferentes maneras. Algunas de estas representaciones siguen el ideal de la donna di palazzo propuesto por Baldessare Castiglione y, de esta manera, el artista representa a su modelo como una dama bien educada que es versada en música, literatura y artes plásticas, tal...
Conference Paper
Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century artists represented women making music in very different ways. Some of these depictions follow Baldessare Castiglione’s ideal donna di palazzo and, thus, the artist represents the sitter as a well-bred lady that is accomplished in music, literature and the arts, as shown by the attributes that accompany them. Howe...
Thesis
This dissertation investigates how Western female musicians were depicted in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing on depictions made in Italy and the Low Countries between 1500 and 1700. It has four sections: an introductory chapter that discusses how women were constructed in Renaissance thought; the second and third chapters, devoted...
Thesis
This project deals with the angel musician Renaissance frescoes painted on the ceiling of Valencia's cathedral. In order to study them, we take into consideration all the angles that could have been involved in the creation of this work of art, namely history, culture, art, aesthetics, and music of late fifteenth-century Valencia. The relationship...

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Projects (2)
Project
List of book & conference reviews published in specialist journals
Project
This project investigates how female musicians were imagined, constructed and represented between c. 1520 and c. 1650, focusing on depictions (e.g. paintings, drawings, woodcuts) produced in Italy as primary sources. It interprets these visual representations as multi-layered gender performances constituted by a multiplicity of gazes (for instance, those of the sitter, the painter or the commissioner), which are in turn re-enacted through time by the gaze of new onlookers. Such depictions thus are static and silent interpretations of the gender performances made by women as they fashioned their identities within the limits imposed by patriarchal society. As a starting-point for the gender performances captured in visual artworks, this dissertation investigates the education of female musicians, through treatises (such as Castiglione's Il cortegiano or Bruto's La institutione) and biographical documents that discuss female musical education (such as Guasco's Ragionamento). Such sources show the ambivalent status of music during early modernity, and highlight how the education of women was framed by society's conventions and expectations. Further case studies show the role of musical instruments in gender performances: through a focus on anthropomorphism as a part of the early modern episteme of resemblance, this thesis investigates the gender connotations of percussion, blown, stringed and keyboard instruments. Moreover, visual representations of Saint Cecilia are also scrutinised as commentaries on contemporary physical religious experiences, as well ideals of femininity, social implications of female music-making and early modern musical theory and practice. Finally, musical portraits of figures such as Barbara Salutati (fl. 1520s), Sofonisba Anguissola (c. 1532-1625), Marietta Robusti (c. 1554-c. 1590), Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) and Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1653) exemplify how early modern women played with blurred boundaries through the use of masks and sprezzatura in their performances with their sounding bodies, and how artists represented these musical gender performances with reference to the cultural conventions and social beliefs surrounding female musicianship.