Flower Power: Still Life from the Romans to the Baroque with Dr. Sara Magister - Context Travel

Flower Power: Still Life from the Romans to the Baroque with Dr. Sara Magister


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What is a still life? How, when, and where did this concept emerge? Join a published Caravaggio and Baroque art author, as we virtually follow the evolution and secret meanings of Still Life, one of the most popular artistic genres ever. Moving between majestic pictures of fruit, flowers, food, and flies represented in the art from ancient times to the sixteenth century, we will travel together into the fortune, symbolism, and evolution of the genre in Italy and Northern Europe. In our conversation, we will discover how much ‘life’ there really is within Still Life, and debate the true origins of the birth of this genre. The story behind still life is much more complex and fascinating than participants might initially think. 

We’ll trace the roots of this genre of art as we analyze its impressive realism, against the backdrop of botanic symbolism. We’ll venture back to the Greek and Roman times as we consider objects, animals, and natural elements in their practical and celebrative function. We’ll spend some time looking at the interpretations from the Middle Ages, to the more poetic and allegorical perceptions of Renaissance times. Out of the Renaissance was born a new pre-scientific interest in nature–we’ll discuss how this spread in northern Italy and Europe.

Thanks to the talent of artists such as Simone Martini, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Lorenzo Lotto, Jacopo Bassano, Arcimboldo, and women painters such as Fede Galizia, still life acquired a new autonomous function. The objects started to speak by themselves and were filled with new symbolic meanings. Our final point of discussion will be the Baroque age when Northern European geniuses (such as Caravaggio and Carracci) defined the artistic genre which is we know and love so well today.

Led by art historian, professor, and published Caravaggio author Sara Magister, this interactive discussion will delve into the genre of still life. Designed to inform curiosity and educate through an in-depth approach, participants will come away with an increased understanding of this style of art and the importance of it still today.

Sara is an art historian with doctoral degrees in Medieval and Modern Art History and Classical Antiquities. She is the author of a book, published by the Accademia dei Lincei, on the antiquities collection of Pope Julius II and has written various articles in important scholarly journals on the history of Renaissance and Baroque collections. More recently, she had published a book on some of the most famous paintings of Caravaggio in Rome which introduces a new interpretation of the works, based on philological data, and which is changing the way we look at this artist.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
60%
(3)
20%
(1)
0%
(0)
20%
(1)
0%
(0)
C
C.
Historical insights to still life painting

Very interesting historical presentation on the history of still life painting.

S
S.C.
Outstanding Art Historian

I've taken more than 40 Context seminars in the past 6 months and Sara Magister is one of the 3 best lecturers I've had. She does a masterful job of creating a historical framework from which to understand how art has evolved, while also analyzing individual objects to help us better interpret and appreciate the art. She is always animated and engaging, making everything that much more interesting. I encourage everyone to take her classes - you'll find yourself appreciating art in ways you've never imagined.

B
B.
Perfection!

Dr. Magister’s talks are always the most rewarding imaginable. Well organized and with clear documentation, she leads us briskly through her topic covering an incredible amount of information, flowing easily from one point to another. Her joy in the art and the concepts she is sharing is palpable. Still Life is often either overlooked or taken for granted; Dr. Magister gives it its rightful place in the cannon.

N
N.S.
Review

Dr Magister has a slight Italian (to my American ears) accent but it does not detract from her expertise in this subject. I thought I already knew about flowers and painting but Dr Magister explained so much more - power and symbolism in paintings! She went over a great amount of slides - and it was very enjoyable!

C
C.
difficulty with the recording

The content of the talk was very interesting, but there was quite a bit of difficulty with the quality of the recording. The entire talk stopped about 2/3rds of the way through. This is the first recording I have watched versus live and I don't know if this happens often? please advise.

Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
60%
(3)
20%
(1)
0%
(0)
20%
(1)
0%
(0)
C
C.
Historical insights to still life painting

Very interesting historical presentation on the history of still life painting.

S
S.C.
Outstanding Art Historian

I've taken more than 40 Context seminars in the past 6 months and Sara Magister is one of the 3 best lecturers I've had. She does a masterful job of creating a historical framework from which to understand how art has evolved, while also analyzing individual objects to help us better interpret and appreciate the art. She is always animated and engaging, making everything that much more interesting. I encourage everyone to take her classes - you'll find yourself appreciating art in ways you've never imagined.

B
B.
Perfection!

Dr. Magister’s talks are always the most rewarding imaginable. Well organized and with clear documentation, she leads us briskly through her topic covering an incredible amount of information, flowing easily from one point to another. Her joy in the art and the concepts she is sharing is palpable. Still Life is often either overlooked or taken for granted; Dr. Magister gives it its rightful place in the cannon.

N
N.S.
Review

Dr Magister has a slight Italian (to my American ears) accent but it does not detract from her expertise in this subject. I thought I already knew about flowers and painting but Dr Magister explained so much more - power and symbolism in paintings! She went over a great amount of slides - and it was very enjoyable!

C
C.
difficulty with the recording

The content of the talk was very interesting, but there was quite a bit of difficulty with the quality of the recording. The entire talk stopped about 2/3rds of the way through. This is the first recording I have watched versus live and I don't know if this happens often? please advise.