‌‌Ingrid D. Rowland

Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
Professor, University of Notre Dame School of Architecture, Rome

Two Renaissance Magnates: Agostino Chigi and Jakob Fugger

Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 7:00pm

Kislak Center

Free & Open to the Public  |  Registration Required


When Martin Luther posted his 95 theses in 1517, a pair of merchant bankers controlled a surprisingly large segment of the European economy: Jakob Fugger in Augsburg and Agostino Chigi in Rome. Exact contemporaries (Fugger was seven years older), each had built an extensive international financial empire in the first decades of the sixteenth century that depended on close contacts with the papacy as well as with other European leaders. Both were eminent patrons of the arts, and each endowed one of the earliest social housing projects to be built on the continent. Their political involvement was extensive if carefully understated: Fugger played a direct role in the Protestant Reformation; Chigi served as a papal ambassador to Venice for Pope Julius II. This lecture will argue that their parallel lives were no coincidence, but rather show careful division of labor and closer communication with one another than has hitherto been suspected.

“Ingrid Rowland’s amazing essays [in From Heaven to Arcadia] are over the top and down the other side. They pop, they sparkle, they inform, and they add up to a rich and vivid mosaic of Renaissance culture, its ancient sources, and its contemporary interpreters. Above all, they show us why deep scholarship and high style matter so much in this gray age of the world's history.”
— Anthony Grafton, Henry Putnam University Professor of History, Princeton University

Ingrid D. Rowland is Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame and Professor at the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture in Rome. She writes and lectures on Classical Antiquity, the Renaissance, and the Age of the Baroque for general as well as specialist audiences. Professor Rowland’s honors include a Mellon grant and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Getty Research Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Villa I Tatti, the American Academy in Rome, and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. A frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, she is the author of The Culture of the High Renaissance: Ancients and Moderns in Sixteenth-Century Rome (Cambridge, 1998); The Scarith of Scornello: A Tale of Renaissance Forgery (Chicago, 2004); From Heaven to Arcadia: The Sacred and the Profane in the Renaissance (New York Review Books, 2005); Giordano Bruno: Philosopher/Heretic (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2008); a translation of Bruno's dialogue On the Heroic Frenzies (Toronto, 2013); From Pompeii: The Afterlife of a Roman Town (Harvard, 2015); and most recently, The Collector of Lives: Giorgio Vasari and the Invention of Art (Norton), co-written with Noah Charney and forthcoming in October 2017. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2002 and in 2010 her book Giordano Bruno was awarded the Helen & Howard R. Marraro Prize by the Society for Italian Historical Studies.