Corporate Guild Order Control of the Florentine Republic in the 13th and 14th Century

Palazzo di Medici-Riccardi / Creative Commons The state was merely a product of these guilds with institutions designed to function only in the way these guilds desired. By Milad D. Mohammadi / 08.26.2018 New York University The Renaissance, being a time of great cultural and political change, was a time of significant economic development, particularly in[…]

“God, Power, and Money”: Did Cosimo de’Medici Deceive Renaissance Florence?

Portrait by Jacopo Pontormo; the laurel branch (il Broncone) was a symbol used also by his heirs / Uffizi Gallery, Wikimedia Commons Cosimo needed to present himself as a benevolent figure because it was the only way to expiate his guilt. By Salvatore Coppola[1] / 12.12.2013 Unversidad de Costa Rica In determining whether or not Cosimo de’Medici[…]

Deconstructing Myths about the Nude in Renaissance Art

Madonna and Child Surrounded by Angels (detail), 1454–56, Jean Fouquet. Oil on panel, 36 1/4 x 32 7/8 in. Courtesy of Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen. Image © www.lukasweb.be–Art in Flanders vzw, photo Dominique Provost A new exhibition and book explore the complexity of the nude in Renaissance art and the controversies it provoked, revealing[…]

Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome

Same-sex unions are an integral part of the long, complex and hotly contested history of marriage.   Interview of Dr. Gary Ferguson by Dr. Katherine Harvey / 01.19.2017 Ferguson: Douglas Huntly Gordon Distinguished Professor, University of Virginia Harvey: Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Birkbeck, University of London In Same-Sex Marriage in Renaissance Rome: Sexuality, Identity, and[…]

Carnal Knowledge: Regulating Sex in England, 1470-1600

Exploring the ways in which the law was used to control sex in late medieval and Tudor England.   Interview of Dr. Martin Ingram by Dr. Katherine Harvey / 02.14.2018 Ingram: Emeritus Fellow in History, Brasenose College, University of Oxford Harvey: Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Birkbeck, University of London Martin Ingram’s book Carnal Knowledge: Regulating Sex[…]

The Age of Enlightenment: An Intellectual Movement of Reason

The Scholar with His Student, Anonymous Flemish painter (circle of Gerard Thomas and Balthasar van den Bossche) / Wikimedia Commons The Enlightenment advocated reason as a means to establishing an authoritative system of aesthetics, ethics, government, and even religion, which would allow human beings to obtain objective truth about the whole of reality. Edited by[…]

Arts of Luxury for the Renaissance Elite

A Tournament Contest from Tournament Book, about 1560–70, unknown illuminator, made in Germany. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. Ludwig XV 14, fols. 27v–28 Manuscripts, stained glass, garments, tapestries, and other precious objects provide a window into the spectacles and social rules that governed life in European courts. By Dr. Larisa Grollemond / 08.27.2018 Assistant[…]

The Late Medieval Art of Domenico Ghirlandaio at the Church of Santa Maria Novella

Santa Maria Novella (Leon Battista Alberti was responsible for the façade, completed in 1470) By Dr. Sally Hickson / 08.09.2015 Associate Professor of Art History University of Guelph A treasure house of Renaissance art The Church of Santa Maria Novella, adjacent to the train station of the same name, is a treasure-house of Florentine art of[…]

Leon Battista Alberti and the Basilica of Sant’Andrea in Mantua

Leon Battista Alberti, Basilica of Sant’Andrea, 1472-90, Mantua (Italy) (photo: Steven Zucker, CC: BY-NC-SA 3.0) By Dr. Heather H. Horton / 08.09.2015 Visiting Assistant Professor in the History of Art and Design Pratt Institute Mantua’s relic In the Fifteenth Century, pilgrims flocked to the Basilica of Sant’Andrea to venerate the most famous relic in the[…]

Three-Dimensionality in Signorelli’s Orvieto Cathedral Renaissance Fresco

Luca Signorelli, The Damned Cast into Hell, 1499-1504, fresco, 23′ wide (San Brizio chapel, Orvieto Cathedral, Orvieto, Italy) By Dr. Shannon Pritchard / 08.09.2015 Assistant Professor of Art History University of Southern Indiana Imagine being confronted by this scene—men and women screaming, their nude bodies contorted in pain as they are tortured by garishly colored demons. Naked men[…]

Abandon All Hope: Guide to Dante’s Divine Comedy

Giotto’s Last Judgment in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, inspired by Dante Alighieri’s vision of heaven and hell. Wikimedia The gates to hell in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy tell us to “abandon all hope, yet who enter here”. Despite its unfunny premise, ‘La Commedia’ ends well, with its protagonist Dante reaching heaven. By Dr. Frances Di Lauro / 10.01.2017 Senior Lecturer Chair, The Department[…]

Year-Long Production Underway to Bring the Sistine Chapel to Life

Technicians attend a rehearsal of the show Universal Judgment: Michelangelo and the Secrets of the Sistine Chapel, directed by Marco Balich, on March 13 near the Vatican. The Vatican Museums, which house the Sistine Chapel, provided high-definition digital reproductions of the frescoes in the hall at a reduced rate because they acknowledged the educational value of[…]

Symbolism, Typology, and Methodology in the Renaissance Art of Perio della Francesca

Piero della Francesca, Flagellation of Christ, c. 1455-65, oil and tempera on wood, 58.4 × 81.5 cm (Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino, Italy) By Christine Zappella / 08.09.2015 PhD Student in Medieval and Early Modern Art University of Chicago Flagellation of Christ The subject of the Flagellation Piero della Francesca’s Flagellation of Christ is proof that, sometimes, good things really do[…]

Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson: English Renaissance Theatre

The Globe Theatre, Panorama Innenraum, London / Photo by Maschinenjunge, Wikimedia Commons    By Dr. Kevin Seiffert and Dr. Rosemary Sutton Seiffert: Professor, Department of Educational Administration, Foundations, & Psychology, University of Manitoba Sutton: Vice President for Student Learning and Success, Cascadia College, Bothell English Renaissance theatre, also known as early modern English theatre, or (commonly) as Elizabethan theatre, refers[…]

Meet the Artist Who Helped Launch the Renaissance in Florence

The Ascension of Christ from the Laudario of Sant’Agnese, about 1340, Pacino di Bonaguida. Tempera and gold on parchment, 17 1/2 x 12 1/2 in. (44.4 x 31.8 cm). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 80a, verso By Dr. Christine Sciacca / 09.14.2012 Associate Curator The Walters Art Museum In the early 1300s, 150 years before[…]

Studying Sculpture by Learning How to Draw It in the Renaissance and Enlightenment

The Apollo Belvedere, 1726–32, Edme Bouchardon. Red chalk, 22 1/2 x 16 7/8 in. Paris, Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts graphiques, INV. 23999. © Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN – Grand Palais / Laurent Chastel Beginning in the Renaissance, painters and sculptors learned their craft by sketching from the sculpture of the past. By[…]

An Introduction to Renaissance Venetian Art

Saint Mark’s Square and the Doge’s Palace seen from the water, Venice (Italy) (photo: Steven Zucker, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) By Dr. Heather H. Horton / 08.09.2015 Visiting Assistant Professor in the History of Art and Design Pratt Institute Venice – Another world Petrarch, the fourteenth-century Tuscan poet, called Venice a “mundus alter” or “another world,” and the city[…]

A Renaissance Mystery, from a Marriage to a Sacrifice

What explains an architectural sketch lying underneath the surface of an Andrea del Sarto panel? By Julian Brooks / 09.03.2015 Senior Curator of Drawings J. Paul Getty Museum It’s amazing what you find when you’re not looking for it. As part of the research for the exhibition Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action, I[…]

A Beginner’s Guide to the Renaissance Book

Woodcut in Divina proportione, 1509, Luca Pacioli. The Getty Research Institute, 84-B9582. See full digitized book A look at the art and science of Europe’s early printed books, with examples from the Getty Research Institute’s special collections. By Sarah Sherman / 09.23.2015 Reference Librarian Getty Research Institute In the 15th century, a new form of mass communication dramatically[…]

A Field Guide to Renaissance Gardens

Bathsheba Bathing (detail), leaf from the Hours of Louis XII, 1498–99, Jean Bourdichon. Tempera colors and gold on parchment, 9 9/16 x 6 11/16 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 79, recto A tour through sumptuous Renaissance gardens depicted in illuminated manuscripts. By Dr. Bryan C. Keene / 08.09.2013 Adjunct Professor of Art History Pepperdine University Gardens[…]

Galileo and the Renaissance

Ottavio Leoni, Portrait of Galileo, 1624, engraving and etching (Fitzwilliam Museum) By Dr. Joseph Daubin / 08.09.2015 Distinguished University Professor of History The Graduate Center City University of New York The Life of Galileo Renaissance artists—painters, sculptors and architects—had been observing nature with a special interest in depicting it faithfully and realistically from the early 15th century on.[…]

Reconstructing a Masterpiece of Choir-Book Illumination by Niccolò da Bologna

Initial G: The Assumption of the Virgin, about 1392–1402, Niccolò da Bologna, from the Gradual of Niccolò di Lazzara for Santo Spirito in Farneta (Lucca). Tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment, 14 x 12 in. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 115 (2017.122.5), leaf 5. Gift of Elizabeth J. Ferrell Leaves by the Bolognese artist,[…]

Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’ in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Art

Domenico di Michelino, Dante holding the Divine Comedy, 1465 (Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence) By Matthew Collins / 12.30.2015 PhD Candidate in the Italian Language Harvard University When you think of Hell, what images fill your imagination?  Your mind might first conjure up a monstrous satanic figure, and then you may further fill in the picture[…]