Rebuilding The Renaissance

Rebuilding The Renaissance

This podcast will explore the development of the art, architecture, culture and history in Italy, from ancient Roman times through the Renaissance. Listeners will develop an understanding of Italy’s role in the development of Western civilization and an ability to appreciate and understand works of art in their historical context.... Show More

Episodes

This episode examines Donatello's sculptural representation of the St. George subject for the Sword and Armor Guild at the church of Orsanmichele, although both sculpture and niche are in the Bargello Museum today. Not only was this first sculpture of the Renaissance to depict a subject in a narrative context, it also largely inspired Michelangelo's David nearly a century later. 

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This episode examines Donatello's seminal heroic interpretation of the "David" subject in sculpture. Removed from its original context at the Duomo and inserted into a civic setting at the Palazzo Vecchio, the statue became the symbol of divine protection for the Florentine Republic. 

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This episode examines the statues that were produced by the likes of Arnolfo Di Cambio, Nanni Di Banco and Donatello and adorned the original facade of Florence cathedral. These extraordinary statues reflect the transition from the International Gothic to the Early Renaissance style. 

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This episode explores the history of the world's most unique city and the organization of the longest lasting republic of all time. From the original refugees who settled on the islands in the ancient world, to the theft of the body of St. Mark, to the formation of a "perfect government", to the evolution of the Venetian Scuola, we shall examine those key factors that transformed a bunch of marshy islands into La Sereni...

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This episode explores the paintings in the Uffizi Gallery collection that best embody the principles of that style that marks the transition between the Gothic and Renaissance worlds, known as the "International Gothic Style." This style combines the elegance and elaborateness of Gothic art with the more naturalistic and spontaneous motifs of the Early Renaissance. 

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This episode examines the "North Doors" of Florence Baptistry that were produced by Lorenzo Ghiberti between 1403-1423 as a result of the famous competition of 1401 won by the same artist. The same International Gothic Style attributes that characterize Ghiberti's earlier competition panel, and which were the very reason that he won the competition, are prevalent  throughout the 28 panels that make up these North Doors ...

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This episode examines the event that sparked the Renaissance - the famous competition between Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi in 1401 for the contract for a set of bronze doors of Florence Baptistry. These two Renaissance giants produced bronze relief panels depicting the Old Testament subject of the sacrifice of Isaac in radically different ways, and the result of the competition determined the professional path that eac...

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This episode will answer many of the questions proposed by my listeners. From how the frescoes on the dome of Florence cathedral were executed, to how the artist Caravaggio died, to the Kenneth Clark vs. John Berger controversy - and much more - I respond directly to your very own questions.

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This episode examines the beautiful pictorial decorations in the 14th-century Strozzi Chapel in Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Italy by the brothers Andrea (better known as "Orcagna") and Nardo di Cione. Almost perfectly preserved after eight centuries, the chapel also offers the extraordinary opportunity to see just exactly how these ecclesiastical spaces were used in their own day.

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January 22, 2020 31 min

This episode examines the sometimes violent, often bizarre, and always fascinating representations of saints and martyrs in Italian medieval and Renaissance art. From St. Sebastian's arrows to St. Lucy's eyeballs to St. Lawrence's barbecue grill, we shall discuss saint imagery and its symbolism.

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This episode examines Nicola Pisano's great sculptural pulpit in the cathedral in Siena, Italy. Carved five years after his pulpit in Pisa Baptistry, this work is much more Gothic in style, reflecting its highly decorative architectural surroundings. Yet, Pisano's work is still full of innovation and invention as he strived to modernize medieval sculpture by introducing drama, movement, naturalism and emotion.

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This episode examines the medieval paintings in the extraordinary collection of paintings in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. Works by Giotto, Simone Martini and Ambrogio Lorenzetti exemplify the move towards naturalism in this proto-Renaissance moment.

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December 31, 2019 32 min

This milestone episode celebrates the production of my 50th episode by telling you more about who I am, what I do, why I do it and I how I got there from both a personal and professional perspective.

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December 25, 2019 26 min

This holiday episode explores the history and traditions of the world's most popular holiday - Christmas! From St. Nick to Jesus' infancy to candy canes, we discuss how both pagan and Christian traditions magically coalesced into the holiday that we celebrate today.

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This episode explores the history and examines the architecture of one of the most unique churches of medieval Europe. Consecrated in 1018 CE, the thousand-year-old Romanesque church of San Miniato in Florence, Italy houses an eclectic mix of artistic styles inside of a distinctly mysterious and mystical atmosphere.

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This episode examines one of the most extraordinary sculptures of the Middle Ages. Nicola Pisano revolutionized sculpture in the 13th century by introducing drama, psychology, classical motifs, anatomy and movement. Although few works exist by the great sculptor, he would inspire later masters such as Donatello and Michelangelo.

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This episode explores the great Romanesque architectural monuments of the Tuscan city of Pisa. From its majestic marble cathedral, to its elegant circular baptistry, to what I like to call the greatest architectural disaster since Babylon – the leaning tower, Pisa is home to some of the greatest architecture of the Middle Ages.

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This episode will examine the breathtaking mosaics that decorate the ceiling of Florence Baptistry. Epic in scale and subject matter, and excruciatingly meticulous in execution, the mosaics represent one of the greatest works of art of medieval Europe and may have inspired both Dante and Michelangelo.

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This episode explores the history and architecture of what is, in local tradition, the most important monument in Florence, Italy. Nearly a millennium old, the Romanesque building has always been the heart of Florentine society and tradition.

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This episode will answer the questions posed by various listeners on our social media platforms. From what sparked my own interest in the Renaissance, to whether Giotto or Michelangelo was more influential in shaping Renaissance art, all the way to Michelangelo's sexuality, no question is left unanswered.

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