A Window on Italy – The Corsini Collection: Masterpieces from Florence

Corsini exhibition

The Institute of Advanced Studies is pleased to present a series of lectures to be held in conjunction with the exhibition, A Window on Italy – The Corsini Collection: Masterpieces from Florence, which is being held at the Art Gallery of Western Australia from 24 February – 18 June 2018.

The exhibition is organised by the Galleria Corsini, Florence, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tãmaki, the Art Gallery of Western Australia and MondoMostre, Rome.

AGWA logo                   Galleria Corsini                    MondoMostre

Savonarola and Botticelli: the visionary prophet and the penitent painter

Arvi Wattel, School of Design, The University of Western Australia.

After the French invasion in 1494, the Florentine people revolted against its de facto rulers and exiled the Medici family from Florence. Subsequently, the followers of the Dominican preacher Girolamo Savonarola (called piagnoni: weepers) instituted a theocratic government, taking fierce control over the city, while Savonarola was preaching the end of times and called for a large ‘bonfire of the vanities’ to ‘cleanse’ the city. Savonarola’s disgust of splendour is famous, but what exactly was the impact of his sermons and this theocratic government on the arts? How did artists respond to his attacks on their art and his calls for reform?

Wednesday 16 May, 6pm | Murdoch Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, UWA

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Previous lectures in this series

Women, Art and Violence in Seventeenth-Century Italian Art

Dr Susanne Meurer, School of Design, The University of Western Australia

Virtuous women encountered a great deal of violence in early modern art – at times they were the victims of physical brutality or emotional cruelty, at times they were its righteous perpetrators. One of the most prominent and accomplished painters of both types of imagery happened to be a woman herself: Artemisia Gentileschi. As in the case of her friend Caravaggio, Artemisia’s work tends to be read through the prism of her life. The rape she suffered as a young woman is often thought to be reflected in the (re-)actions of her predominantly female heroines. Yet, is it wise to read biography into an artwork? To what extent are Artemisia’s visual strategies conditioned by her gender? Does a woman portray violence in a different way to a man?

Wednesday 14 March

Allegories for Meditation and Self-Reflection in the Elite Renaissance Home 

Dr Elizabeth Reid, Researcher in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

The paintings that decorated the Renaissance home were not solely intended for aesthetic appreciation, but for moral instruction. This talk will take a small selection of the early sixteenth-century works from the exhibition as a starting point to consider the ideal role of religious and mythological allegories in domestic experiences of self-reflective looking. 

Thursday 5 April

  • For technical reasons, there are no recordings available for these talks.