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Barbara Furlotti (Census Fellow) - 'True Lies: Restorations, Reproductions and Fake Antiquities in Renaissance Italy'

My ongoing research project focuses on the conceptual chasm between early modern and contemporary attitudes towards antiquities’ many possible manipulations. It investigates how contemporary binary descriptors, such as prototype/replica and especially original/fake, fail to grasp and convey the much nuanced approach developed by Renaissance antiquarians, collectors, and artists, who often looked at manipulated and fake antiquities as acceptable alternatives to unavailable original pieces, and sometimes even as better options.  

Dr Barbara Furlotti has been an Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld since 2015. In 2009-2010 she held a post–doctoral fellowship at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, where she was involved in the research project ‘The Display of Art in Roman Palaces, 1550–1750’. As a Marie Curie Fellow at the Warburg Institute (2012-15), Barbara worked on her book Antiquities in Motion: From Excavation Sites to Renaissance Collections (Getty Publications, June 2019). With Guido Rebecchini, she co–curated the exhibitions ‘Giulio Romano: Art and Desire’ (Mantua, Palazzo Te, 6 October 2019–6 January 2020) and ‘Giulio Romano: the Power of Things on Renaissance Design’ (Mantua, Palazzo Te, 8 October 2022-8 January 2023). She has published extensively on the history of collecting, the art market, and antiquarianism.

The Work in Progress seminar explores the variety of subjects studied and researched at the Warburg Institute. Papers are given by invited international scholars, research fellows studying at the Institute, and third-year PhD students.


image: Hendrick Goltzius, Hercules Farnese, 1590-91, Haarlem, Teylers Museum.