Siena and Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Frescoes: Tyrants, Tricksters, and Treasure with Kristin Stasiowski - Context Travel

Siena and Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Frescoes: Tyrants, Tricksters, and Treasure with Kristin Stasiowski


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Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s frescoes in the Sala Dei Nove in Siena, Italy have inspired viewers for generations with their extended meditation on the relationship of “good and bad government” to the citizens of this beautiful Tuscan hill town. Known to art historians simply as the “buon governo” frescoes, this fresco cycle—completed just before the famous plague of 1348 known as the Black Death---is one of the first examples of an attempt to discuss ideas that would later be recognized as a form of early civic humanism.

This discussion will offer an in-depth reading of the images presented in this cycle with an emphasis placed on the intertextual nature of the political, philosophical, educational, and literary contexts that are presented in the series. By placing the frescoes in their original context, we will uncover and explore the historical realities of civic life in the Middle Ages with an eye to striking modern-day parallels especially in regard to the successes and failures of political leadership, social justice, and civic pride.

Led by an expert in Italian literature and history, Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D., this interactive seminar will introduce participants to the rich and dynamic history of the city of Siena through an in-depth discussion of this particular fresco cycle. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the relationship that art can have on civic life.

Kristin Stasiowski, Ph.D. is the Assistant Dean of International Programs and Education Abroad for the College of Arts and Sciences and is also an Assistant Professor of Italian Language and Literature in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at Kent State University. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in Italian Language and Literature and has taught Italian language, literature, cinema, history, and culture in both the United States and Florence, Italy prior to arriving at Kent State. Her current research is on Italian author Clemente Rebora.

This conversation is not suitable for children under age 16

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
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(8)
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m
m.
Context lives up to its name in this session

This session was everything loved about Context - it provided the historical and cultural background that drove the creation of the works of art discussed and explored the insights that made the significance and importance of these murals truly apparent. Dr Stasiowski is indefatigable in her enthusiasm and knows how to explain complex concepts with clarity. This session really provided the context needed to best appreciate the artwork. The slides were great as well.

J
J.C.
Good and Bad Government Explained

Kristin's discussion was clear, detailed and informative, learned, and interesting. She's an excellent expositor who leaves you searching for another of her presentations.

I
I.S.
Can a city make you a better person?

Dr.Stasioski leads a thoughtful and passionate inquiry into Siena’s quest for civic virtue that resonates today. This is one of the best Context seminars I have enjoyed

J
J.
A Hidden Siena Gem

Though I have been to Siena, I had not heard of Lorenzetti's frescoes. I am so happy that I took this seminar and became familiar with them. Ms Stasiowski's love for Siena and the frescoes shone throughout the presentation. Her analysis and reference to literary sources brought the works to life. It definitely made me hope for a return trip. My one caveat, Ms Stasiowski, by her own admission, speaks quite quickly. You'll need to be on your toes to catch everything.

D
D.
Reading 14th-Century Frescoes That Matter NOW

Kristin offers a detailed, beautiful, and compelling close reading of one of the most important fresco cycles in Italy. When I had the privilege of standing in the room surrounded with these frescoes, it was challenging to notice and make sense of the myriad cultural references. Immediately after the seminar I returned to my personal photos with renewed understanding and curiosity. Next I need to return to Siena for another week or so.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
100%
(8)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
m
m.
Context lives up to its name in this session

This session was everything loved about Context - it provided the historical and cultural background that drove the creation of the works of art discussed and explored the insights that made the significance and importance of these murals truly apparent. Dr Stasiowski is indefatigable in her enthusiasm and knows how to explain complex concepts with clarity. This session really provided the context needed to best appreciate the artwork. The slides were great as well.

J
J.C.
Good and Bad Government Explained

Kristin's discussion was clear, detailed and informative, learned, and interesting. She's an excellent expositor who leaves you searching for another of her presentations.

I
I.S.
Can a city make you a better person?

Dr.Stasioski leads a thoughtful and passionate inquiry into Siena’s quest for civic virtue that resonates today. This is one of the best Context seminars I have enjoyed

J
J.
A Hidden Siena Gem

Though I have been to Siena, I had not heard of Lorenzetti's frescoes. I am so happy that I took this seminar and became familiar with them. Ms Stasiowski's love for Siena and the frescoes shone throughout the presentation. Her analysis and reference to literary sources brought the works to life. It definitely made me hope for a return trip. My one caveat, Ms Stasiowski, by her own admission, speaks quite quickly. You'll need to be on your toes to catch everything.

D
D.
Reading 14th-Century Frescoes That Matter NOW

Kristin offers a detailed, beautiful, and compelling close reading of one of the most important fresco cycles in Italy. When I had the privilege of standing in the room surrounded with these frescoes, it was challenging to notice and make sense of the myriad cultural references. Immediately after the seminar I returned to my personal photos with renewed understanding and curiosity. Next I need to return to Siena for another week or so.