Eleonora di Toledo (1522-1562) was a remarkable woman, who married into the Medici dynasty, and was the first Duchess of Florence in Renaissance Italy.  Alison researched, devised and wrote the performance text, taking the funeral dress of Eleonora, restored over 12 years and housed in the Galleria del Costume in Palzzo Pitti; the site-specificity of Filippo Brunelleschi's design and plan of the Cappella dei Pazzi, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture in the Basilica of Santa Croce; Agnolo Bronzino's portrait of 'Eleonora of Toledo with her son Giovanni' c.1545 located in the Galleria degli Uffizi, and the early Renaissance form of a madrigal of voices as the starting points for experimentation.
Research Health and Wellbeing
Research Fashion
Research Architecture and Art
Research Music
Research Contemporary Florentines
The intriguing story of Eleonora di Toledo and her life was brought to a contemporary audience through the work of Cristina Aschengreen Piacenti.  The research involved the forensic work undertaken on the burial clothes of Eleonora now housed in the Costume Gallery at  the Palazzo Pitti in Florence.
Initial research for the music revolved around the styles of music that were contemporary during Eleonora's life and the types of works that she and her husband Cosimo de' Medici supported and were patrons of.  The city of Florence was at the heart of western musical traditions.
Health and wellbeing
The architecture of the sites of performance hold a particular interest.  The performance in Florence was in the Basilica of Santa Croce in the Cappella dei Pazzi.  This was designed by Brunelleschi and construction began in 1441 but it wasn't completed until the 1460s, two decades after his death.
The plan was based on simple geometric forms.
The Pazzi family were rivals of the Medici and it was probably built to enhance their reputation in terms of their wealth and power.
The project began with a sequence of interviews of contemporary Florentine aristocrats, exploring their views of the city, politics and heritage, with a common link of the first Duchess of Florence, Eleonora de Toledo.
These interviews will shortly be available as a flim.