Giotto, Donatello, Mantegna, and Titian are just some of the celebrated artists who worked in the city of Padua. This seminar introduces one of northern Italy’s foremost cities, to reveal a little of its proud history and a lot of great art.
Not only is Padua home to Italy’s most celebrated fourteenth-century artwork, Giotto’s fresco cycle in the Scrovegni chapel, the city’s baptistery also preserves an exquisite set of frescoes by another Florentine, Giusto de Menabuoi. This wonderful work of art was commissioned by the city’s “first lady” Fina Buzzacarini in the 1370s. In Padua, we also find Italy’s most important Renaissance equestrian statue, Donatello’s monument to the military leader nicknamed honey-cat “Gattamelata”. The spoils do not end here: we will discuss a cycle of paintings by Andrea Mantegna, sadly damaged in the Second World War, as well as some rare youthful frescoes by Titian. These are just some of the works of art which we will consider in this introduction to the city of Padua.
Padua was both an important Roman center and an independent city-state, in the early Middle Ages. In 1405, Padua was conquered by Venice, yet still managed to retain a proud and important artistic and architectural identity of its own. Despite absorbing some Venetian influence, the city remained quite distinct in its appearance, activities, and atmosphere from its famous neighbor. Home to one of Italy’s oldest universities, Padua has long enjoyed the reputation of being one of the country’s most erudite cities. We’ll also discuss how it is an important center of pilgrimage, for it is here that St Francis’s disciple, St Anthony of Padua, is enshrined in the Santo, a spectacular gothic basilica.
Led by an expert on the history of Italian art, Dr. Susan Steer, this interactive seminar will introduce the Medieval and Renaissance art of Padua. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a broad overview of the art of this great northern Italian city and an increased understanding of Italian Medieval and Renaissance art in its civic and social contexts.
Susan Steer PhD is an art historian specializing in Medieval and Renaissance Venice. Susan has an extensive teaching background, lecturing on Italian art for universities in the UK and in Italy. She has also worked as a paintings researcher at museums in the UK, and has published on Italian Renaissance and Baroque art in leading specialist journals. She has lived in Venice for over 20 years.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.