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Valerio Zanetti

Valerio Zanetti

PhD Candidate, Early Modern European History

AHRC and Cambridge Trust Scholar

Valerio Zanetti is available for consultancy.


I graduated summa cum laude from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, where my work focused on early modern iconography and iconology. I then completed a masters in Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of Sheffield. My dissertation examining political women's physical performances and sartorial practices during the French Revolution was awarded a Petrie Watson Exhibition Prize. 

I am currently in my final year as a History PhD student, working under the supervision of Prof Ulinka Rublack. My research investigates the emergence of a female sport culture in early modern Europe. More specifically, I am tracing the development of female equestrianism at the French court between the late sixteenth and the early eighteenth century.


I supervise undergraduate students for Part I, Paper 16 and Part II, Paper 14 (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge)

I am a graduate lecturer for the HAP classes on 'Cultural History' and 'Gender' (Faculty of History, University of Cambridge) 

Other Professional Activities

I co-organised the 'Getting Dressed in the Renaissance' workshop for 'Cambridge History for Schools' (8 February 2020)

I was the organiser of the 'Fashioning the Early Modern Courtier' conference at St John's College (16 May 2018)

I am a former co-convenor of the 'Cambridge Interdisciplinary Performance Network' 

I am a former co-convenor of the seminar 'Things: Material Cultures of the Early Modern World' at CRASSH (Cambridge) 

In 2015, I collaborated as a curatorial assistant at the Warburton Gallery in Edinburgh


  • Early Modern History

Key Publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

V. Zanetti, ‘From the King’s Hunt to the Ladies’ Cavalcade: Female Equestrian Culture at the Court of Louis XIV’ The Court Historian 24.3 (2019), pp. 250-268

V. Zanetti, ‘Holding the Reins: Female Horse Riding and Aristocratic Authority in Seventeenth-Century France’ Ludica. Annals of the history and culture of games 25 (2020), pp. 125-143

V. Zanetti, ‘Amazons in the Flesh: Defining the Female Athletic Body in Seventeenth-Century France’ Francia 47 (August 2021) – accepted and forthcoming

Book Chapter

V. Zanetti, '"Nothing is fashionable till it be deformed": Sartorial Materials and Aesthetic Ideals of Beauty in Early Modern Europe', in Sarah Toulalan (ed.), A Cultural History of Beauty in the Early Modern Age (London: Bloomsbury, 2020) – forthcoming

Volume Editor

V. Zanetti (ed.), Fashioning the Early Modern Courtier: Sartorial Networks at the Courts of Europe, 1550-1750 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020) – forthcoming

Other Publications

Valerio Zanetti, 'Un giro di valzer', in V. LaMendola and M. Villano (eds), Film da sfogliare: dalla pagina allo schermo (Milano: 2013), pp. 76-77

Conference Report

V. Zanetti, report of the conference ‘Fashining the Early Modern Courtier’ held on 16 May 2018 at St John’s College, Cambridge, Bulletin of the Society for Renaissance Studies 25.2 (2018), pp. 15-16.

Book Review

V. Zanetti, review of The Force of Beauty: Transforming French Ideas of Femininity in the Third Republic, by H. Grout, French History 29.3 (2015), pp. 202-204