Valerio Zanetti

Warburg / I Tatti Fellow

I graduated summa cum laude from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan in 2013. I then completed an Eighteenth Century Studies MA (History) at the University of Sheffield in September 2015, obtaining a distinction. My dissertation examining political women’s dress during the French Revolution was also awarded a Petrie Watson Exhibition Prize. Between October 2016 and October 2020 I was a History PhD Candidate at the University of Cambridge, where my research on early modern women's equestrian culture was funded by the AHRC and Cambridge Trust. I have since been awarded a Society for Renaissance Studies Postdoctoral Fellowship. My research and publications explore female equestrian culture and physical exercise across early modern Europe. I currently hold a joint fellowship at the Warburg Institute in London and the Villa I Tatti in Florence, where my project focuses on national embodiment in Renaissance medicine and art. 

My doctoral thesis and recent publications examine women’s equestrian culture in seventeenth-century France. From October 2020, I will continue my research as a Society for Renaissance Studies Postdoctoral Fellow, investigating female exercise across early modern Europe.

History Undergraduates’ Supervisor (Part I, Paper 16) October 2018 – June 2020

St John’s College, University of Cambridge

HAP Graduate Lecturer (Gender, Cultural History) February 2018 / February 2019 / January 2020

Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

Undergraduate Admissions Tests Marker December 2017 / December 2018 / November 2019

Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

History Undergraduates’ Supervisor and Seminar Convenor (Part II, Paper 14) January 2019 – June 2019

Faculty of History, University of Cambridge

Selected Conferences and Workshops

AIPI Annual Conference 2020 – Panel Organiser

28–30 June 2021 / University of Geneva

Fashioning the Early Modern Courtier Conference – Conference Organiser

16 May 2018 / St John’s College, University of Cambridge

Pretty Ugly: Early Modern Beauty, 1400-1800 – Speaker

11–10 January 2019 / Wellcome Collection, London

Performance, Politics and Play: ISCH Conference 2018 – Speaker

13–16 September 2018 / Columbia University, New York

Horses & Courts: The Reins of Power International Symposium – Speaker

21–23 March 2018 / Wallace Collection, London

European History Across Boundaries Graduate Workshop – Participant

24–26 January 2018 / Leibniz Institute for European History, Mainz

Bewegende Körper / Bodies in Motion: 3. Jahrestagung der KWG – Speaker

16–18 November 2018 / Ghent University

TransPositions Summer School 2017 – Participant

21–25 August 2017 / Utrecht University

Corps et politique dans les cours princières aux temps modernes – Speaker

29–30 May 2017 / Deutsches Historisches Institut, Paris


Tags & Themes

Key publications

Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

V. Zanetti, ‘Amazons in the Flesh: Defining the Female Athletic Body in Seventeenth-Century France’, Francia. Forschungen zur westeuropäischen Geschichte 48 (2021), pp. 345-366

V. Zanetti, ‘Breeched and Unbridled: Bifurcated Equestrian Garments for Women in Early Modern Europe’, Costume 55.2 (2021), pp. 163-185

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, ‘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, ‘Rethinking the Amazon: Power Dressing and Political Self-Fashioning in Revolutionary France’, Gender & History, c. 35 pp. – under final review

V. Zanetti, ‘Fashionable equivocation of gender: A bust portrait of a lady in hunting garb attributed to Jacob Ferdinand Voet’, The Burlington Magazine, c. 10 pp. – under final review

Book Chapters

V. Zanetti, ‘Experiencing an Early Seventeenth-Century Florentine Doublet’, in P. Hohti (ed.), Refashioning the Renaissance: Everyday Dress and the Reconstruction of Early Modern Material Culture, 1550–1650 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2022), c. 10 pp. – forthcoming

V. Zanetti, ‘“Nothing is fashionable till it be deformed”: Sartorial Materials and Aesthetic Ideals of Beauty in Early Modern Europe’, in S. Toulalan (ed.) A Cultural History of Beauty in the Early Modern Age (London: Bloomsbury, 2022), ca. 20 pp. – accepted and forthcoming

V. Zanetti, ‘Women’s First Sporting Uniform: Riding Habits at the Court of Louis XIV’, in V. Zanetti (ed.), Fashioning the Early Modern Courtier: Sartorial Networks at the Courts of Europe, 1550-1750 (Turnhout: Brepols N.V., 2022), ca. 25 pp. – forthcoming

V. Zanetti, ‘Un giro di valzer’, in V. LaMendola and M. Villano (eds), Film da sfogliare: Dalla pagina allo schermo (Milano: Vita e Pensiero, 2013), pp. 76-77

Volume Editor

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

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