Photograph of Dr Ita Mac Carthy
Dr Ita Mac Carthy

Dr Ita Mac Carthy has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for the project ‘The Grace of the Italian Renaissance’.

‘Grace’ is a complex keyword of the Italian Renaissance, informing quarrels about the soul’s salvation and how best to live at court; about how to develop a shared literary language and how to depict in art the full dignity of mankind. Yet despite the profound importance of grace, it has never received the holistic treatment it deserves, tending instead to see one of its range of meanings singled out and essentialised. Mac Carthy’s project (awarded £39,814 by the Leverhulme Trust) will be the first to examine the varying uses to which grace is put in sixteenth-century Italian literature, society and art, and to explore what it meant to the leading artists, writers and thinkers of the day. 

As well as the Cadbury Research Library in Birmingham, Dr Mac Carthy will make full use of the early modern archives at the Taylor Institution, Bodleian and Sackler libraries in Oxford. In Italy, her research will mainly take place in the Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze, the Archivio Vaticano in Rome and the Fondazione Cini in Venice. The 19-month project starts in October 2017.