Plautilla Nelli is considered the first female artist from Florence, the birthplace of The Renaissance. Born in 1524 to a successful merchant family she was raised around wealth and opulence in the same circles of the Medici family.
Nelli later became a nun, as did her sister, a practice in this era as to not warrant dowries for the females. In the convent, Nelli practiced painting and other artistic expression under religious context. Her only known surviving, signed work is her rendering of The Last Supper, which was the first to be painted by a woman; it is currently housed at Santa Maria Novella Museum in Florence. Nelli’s work was found to be in the homes of many Florentines during this era and much has been re-discovered and reattributed to her since pieces have been undergoing restoration in the last century.
Nelli, herself, would paint men whom exhibited feminine features as she could not paint with male nudes within religious constructs. We reimagine what she could have painted if her subject matter was not entirely stifled. We’ve selected the work ‘Portrait of Plautilla Nelli’, her work completed in 1550, for our discussion on C O L O U R.
It only took a century to begin allowing blood to be shown on menstrual product adverts and even better alternatives to the tampon to exist. If some can muster the fortitude watch a bloody gunfight in films, surely, that same audience could stomach a vial of red liquid being poured onto a maxipad.
We dare to show our true colours.
We are the rebels that aim to break societal shackles to empower everyone in their menstrual journeys. We know that menstruation is a natural process that should not be shrouded in shame and secrecy. We denounce the patriarchal norms that limit opportunities during menstruation. We believe that menstrual cycles should not hinder anyone’s success, education, or work. We demand for the elimination of menstrual stigma and discrimination in all spheres of life.
We pledge to work towards creating a world where access to menstrual products and education is a basic human right regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or economic status. It is time to prioritise menstrual health and provide access to safe, hygienic, and sustainable menstrual products for all those in need.
We stand for complete menstrual wellness, not just for our physical health but for our mental and emotional health as well.
We must reclaim this sign of life-giving power. Menstruation is a strength, NOT a weakness. It is time to break the taboos.
We dare to create a world where menstruation is not just accepted, but celebrated. It is time to embrace it. We’re not here to skirt around the bush, we may joke about our flows (because we can), we’ll discuss gastrointestinal issues during our period, and you’re gonna see blood. We provide an intersectional space to feature every experience in menstruation.
We will use the discourse of art, literature, technology, humanities and public policy to effectively carry out our mission. We call on all anyone who isn’t afraid of breaking the status quo to stand with us in this movement towards menstrual wellness and empowerment.
This isn’t just a rebellion. This isn’t just a revolution. This is a renaissance.
This is OUR renaissance.
The Renaissance Period is a taboo-busting, digital platform providing all those who menstruate (and their allies!) with personalized options for their menstruation needs via subscription boxes (coming soon) and other relevant products, engaging content, and an inclusive community to support them.
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