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Italian art from the Romanesque to Giotto



Italian art from the Romanesque to Giotto

giottoTradition has long held that Italian art emerged out of the “Dark Ages” in the 13th century, into a magnificent cultural flowering that was later styled a Renaissance or rebirth. From Giotto’s innovations to sumptuous mosaics and the advent of the Gothic style, some of Italy’s major artistic achievements took place in this vital period, but they are often overshadowed by our interest in the Renaissance art that we believe eclipsed them.

This course explores the origins of medieval Italian sculpture, painting and the minor arts. Beginning in the Romanesque period, we discover how sculpture and painting in Pavia, Parma and Friuli preserved important parts of the Roman tradition while experimenting with northern European influences. From Venice to Palermo, we unpack the meaning of Byzantine art in Italy, with a special focus on mosaics.

Finally, examining contemporary political and cultural developments, we explore how the Franciscan and Dominican interest in the human dimensions of the faith influenced Arnolfo di Cambio and Giunta Pisano. And with Nicola Pisano and Pietro Cavallini’s increasingly palermonaturalistic approach, we lay the groundwork for the emergence of Giotto.

Session 1 (2 February)
The origins of medieval Italian art: “Dark Age” sculpture and painting in Pavia, Friuli and Parma

Session 2 (9 February)
What we mean when we talk about Byzantine art, from Venice to the Normans in Sicily

Session 3 (16 February)
The ethos of the Franciscans and Dominicans; Giunta Pisano and Arnolfo di Cambio

Session 4 (23 February)
Nicola Pisano, Pietro Cavallini and an interest in naturalism

The lectures will be held in English and ONLINE

Each one hour lecture will be followed by 30 minutes of live discussion

Tutor: Dr Kathleen Olive

Dr Kathleen Olive is a literary and cultural historian, with a PhD in Florentine Renaissance studies from the University of Sydney. She has taught Italian language, literature and history at the University of Sydney and the University of Technology, and leads popular Italian art courses at the WEA. Kathleen, travels frequently to Italy, both to pursue her research and to lead cultural tours for Academy Travel.

Course fee: $100 (no discounts apply)

Downolad the brochure HERE.

To book for the course download HERE the enrolment form, fill it in and send it to:

For further information call: (02) 9261 1780


Date: Da Tuesday, February 02, 2021 a Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Time: From 10:00 am To 11:30 am

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Entrance : With fee