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For Women’s History Month, we’ll be highlighting a powerhouse female in music history every Wednesday. Today, we’re shining a light on Renaissance Woman, Isabella D’Este (1474-1539).

Isabella d'Este Banner

Isabella was co-regent of the Mantuan state, a major patron of the arts, a fashion icon, a gardener, a musician, and much more. She was a true renaissance woman, and undoubtedly ahead of her time. Isabella is perhaps most well-known for gathering one of the greatest collections of art (visual, musical, fashion, etc) in the world and that she kept these incredible pieces in her studiolo, which she designed herself.

UNC Department of Music Associate Professor Anne MacNeil is co-director of IDEA: Isabella d’Este Archive ( Just this past year, the National Endowment for the Humanities awarded IDEA with a Level II grant that will enable The Virtual Studiolo team to complete the first two phases of the Virtual Studiolo project. Check out the preview video below, and visit IDEA’s website to learn more about the illustrious Isabella d’Este.


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