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______________________________PAINTING TECHNIQUES OF THE OLD MASTERS

D. Raverty after Giovanni Bellini, Christ with Cross, 15th c.

Toward the end of the 15th century, oil glazing techniques were first introduced to Italian artists from far away Flanders (the modern Netherlands). Giovanni Bellini was among the first Italian artists to use the medium, and his work set the standard for later artists.


In this presentation, Dr. Raverty will demonstrate these glazing techniques on a copy of a Bellini's Christ with Cross from the collection of the Gardner Museum in Boston, and will discuss the significance of this "new technology" on the art of the High Renaissance masters, such as Leonardo, Titian and Raphael.

______________________________FRANCISCAN HUMANISM IN LATE MEDIEVAL ART

Saint Francis (detail), 13th or early 14th c., artist unknown

The humanist revival of the Italian Renaissance had its roots in the mystical poverty of Saint Francis of Assisi and his followers. This presentation will examine the work of Cimabue and his more famous pupil, Giotto di Bondone, a proto-Renaissance painter of the 14th century, who executed two cycles of murals on the life of the saint: an early cycle at the Upper Church in Assisi and a later series at the Bardi Chapel in Santa Croce Church in Florence. The earlier and later work will be compared in terms of the artist's gradual conquest of three-dimensional space, the gravitas and drama of his figures, and their lifelike humanity.

______________________________THE "CATHOLIC" CHRIST OF RUBENS &

Rembrandt van Rijn, Head of Christ, oil sketch, 17th c.

In the late 16th century, northern parts of what had until then been Catholic Flanders broke with Spain and became an independent, Protestant state. While Rubens continued the heroic grand manner of the Catholic Counter-Reformation Flemish style, Rembrandt evoked a quieter naturalism more in line with the ideology of the Reformed Church, where the divine was represented through the artist's unique treatment of light, in order to reveal a truly human, yet transcendent Jesus.