Janet Robson is an independent art historian with a BA in History from University College London (1980), an MA in Early Sienese Painting and a PhD in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art (1997 & 2001). She has been lecturing for over a decade and has published extensively on thirteenth and fourteenth-century Italian art. She has been awarded the Society of Authors’ Art Book Prize for 2014. Janet has travelled and studied extensively in Italy, having held research fellowships at the British School at Rome and at Villa I Tatti (Harvard University) in Florence, and now divides her time between Assisi and London.
This study day focuses on three famous Italian cities – Assisi, Siena and Florence – and the artistic interaction between them as the Middle Ages were transformed into the Renaissance. This shift first begins to happen in the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, specifically in the famous frescoes of the life of St. Francis that are traditionally thought to have been painted by Giotto. Here, innovative artists from Rome and Florence mingled to meet the artistic demands of the Franciscan friars.
Siena was famous for the exquisite panel paintings created for its cathedral, town hall, and the new churches of the friars. The great master Duccio was succeeded by Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers, who pushed each other to greater heights of invention in their paintings for the ‘City of the Virgin’ in the first half of the 14th century.
Florence has traditionally been seen as the birthplace of the Renaissance, and Cimabue and Giotto as its first great artists. The age of Giotto is characterised by monumental panel paintings and fresco cycles, ushering in a new style of highly dramatic story-telling that would long influence later generations of Renaissance artists.
Cost is £32 including refreshments and lunch.