If you love Italian painting, consider attending the Muscarelle Museum‘s “3rd Thursdays” lectures this fall. Art historian John T. Spike, the distinguished scholar in residence at the College of William & Mary, will explore the topics listed below.
The lectures are included with the regular $5 admission to the museum on the campus of the College of William and Mary, or you might consider becoming a member if you want to attend all three. After 5:00 p.m. you can park in the faculty & staff lot next to the museum with no worries.
5:30 p.m., Thursday, September 15, 2011
The brilliant 17th century Italian painter, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610), depicted religious themes in contemporary settings with a style based in visible reality. Habitually transgressing the boundary between the sacred and the profane, Caravaggio is renowned as one of the greatest religious painters of all time. His early successes, however, were also based on his genius for treating themes of deception, trickery, and disguise. Like his contemporary, Shakespeare, Caravaggio combined realism with artifice in ways that have resulted in a puzzling diversity of interpretations. In this lecture, Caravaggio’s delight in calculated ambiguities is viewed in its cultural context.
5:30 p.m., Thursday, October 13, 2011
Young Michelangelo: The Path to the Sistine
From the apprentice who at the age of thirteen draws copies that are indistinguishable from his master’s originals; to the miracle of the Pietà; to the completion of the David, a task considered impossible; to the young man’s return to Rome at the age of 33 to undertake the vast ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Young Michelangelo probes the formative years of a genius, underscoring his personal rivalries and fascination with the eternal contrasts of pagan/sacred, perfect/imperfect, colossal and impossible.
5:30 p.m., Thursday, November 17, 2011
Secret Messages of Faith: Fra Angelico’s Frescoes at San Marco
Called Angelico for his exquisite depictions of paradise, the paintings of the 15th century Dominican friar, Fra Angelico, have been beloved for centuries. The more than 40 frescoes Fra Angelico painted to decorate the walls of the monastery of San Marco remain one of the highlights for any visitor to Florence. Arranged out of sequence in comparison to the Biblical narrative, the fresco program has long frustrated scholarly interpretation. In this lecture, Spike unravels their secret messages, showing that Fra Angelico drew upon the mystical writings of the early church fathers to describe a non-linear journey towards union with God.