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REBUILDING THE RENAISSANCE PODCAST
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Rebuilding The Renaissance 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.
Episodes
Episode 205 – Titian’s “Penitent Magdalene” (Pitti Palace)
In 1531, Titian painted the incredibly sensuous image of Mary Magdalene for Duke Federico II of Mantua who, in turn, gifted it to the celebrated poetess Vittoria Colonna. By combining the two best-known versions of Mary Magdalene – prostitute and penitent – Titian produced a profound image of sp...
Episode 204 – Titian’s “Venus of Urbino” (Uffizi Galleries)
Titian was the greatest Venetian painter of his age. His reputation and achievements in 16th-century Europe were rivaled only by Michelangelo. Venetian artists introduced their own particular style and vision into Renaissance art, as seen in the Venus of Urbino. Suddenly, female nudity and eroticis...
Episode 203 – Answers To Open Questions Part 15
From the accuracy of Vasari's "Lives," the dark skin tones of medieval paintings, why Last Suppers appear where they do, whether Caravaggio can be considered a Renaissance artist, and much, much more - this episode answers the very questions that you ask me about the great art, artists and history...
Episode 202 – Palazzo Te in Mantua – Part IV (The Room of the Giants)
Giulio Romano's "Room of the Giants" in the Palazzo Te is one of the most dramatic and unique pictorial cycles in history. Depicting the fall of the Titans to the Olympian gods, the colossal-scale figures, rounded corners, and illusionistic architecture create a veritable sense of virtual reality....
Episode 201 – Palazzo Te in Mantua – Part III (The Room of Psyche)
The Room of Psyche in the Palazzo Te in Mantua, Italy, is one of the most erotic pictorial cycles of the Renaissance. From the 9 ceiling paintings that depict the story of Cupid and Psyche, to the lunettes depicting the labors of Psyche, to the wall paintings depicting examples of divine and bestial...
Episode 200 – 200th Episode Celebration!
This milestone celebrates the production of the 200th episode of the Rebuilding the Renaissance podcast. Looking back at the approximately two millennia that we have covered thus far, the various special guests who have appeared in the series, and the particularly important specific episodes, this e...
Episode 199 – The Palazzo Te in Mantua Part II
The pictorial decoration inside of the Palazzo Te in Mantua, Italy, is some of the most inventive and delightful imagery of the Italian Renaissance. From the Room of Ovid, with representations of episodes from the "Metamorphoses," to the Room of the Imprese, with its many coat of arms and playful su...
Episode 198 – The Palazzo Te in Mantua
The Palazzo Te (1526-1535) was both designed and decorated by the great Mannerist artist and pupil of Raphael, Giulio Romano.  Built for the Marquis-turned-Duke of Mantua, Federico II Gonzaga, every detail of the building was intended to delight the visitor. This episode explores the history and ar...
Episode 197 – Correggio’s “Danaë”
Located in the Borghese Gallery in Rome, Correggio's sensual painting of the amorous relationship between Jupiter and the daughter of the King of Argos is sublime. Based on the account in Ovid's "Metamorphoses,'' Correggio is able to transform a literary metaphor into an equally powerful and erotic ...
Episode 196 – Correggio’s Dome Frescoes in Parma Cathedral
Correggio’s breath-taking dome fresco in the dome of Parma cathedral depicts the Assumption of the Virgin (1526). Gigantic painted figures of the apostles stand below an explosion of heavenly clouds and hundreds of angels that create a celestial architecture upon which the Virgin Mary is assum...
Episode 195 – Correggio’s Paintings in the National Gallery of Parma
Parma's National Gallery of Painting houses one of Italy's most important collections of medieval and Renaissance paintings. Amongst its treasures are several altarpieces by the great Correggio. This episode examines these extraordinary paintings and their expressive emotional power, which has inspi...
Episode 194 – Correggio’s Dome Fresco in San Giovanni Evangelista in Parma
After decorating the apartment of a Benedictine abbess, Correggio was called by the nearby Benedictine monks of Parma to decorate their church of San Giovanni Evangelista. The most spectacular of the paintings is the illusionist dome fresco depicting Jesus and the Apostles in dramatic di sotto in s�...
Episode 193 – Correggio’s “Camera di San Paolo” in Parma
The Camera di San Paolo (1519) was Correggio’s first major commission in Parma. In the private quarters of a Benedictine abbess named Giovanna Piacenza, he executed a decorative fresco program filled with mythological and festive motifs. The particularly beautiful illusionistic ceiling decoration ...
Episode 192 – Answers to Open Questions XIII
From medieval graffiti, Raphael suffering medical malpractice, Siena's many contrade, the damaged part of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the four biblical rivers as symbols of the Evangelists, anatomical dissection in the ancient world - and much, much more - this episode answers the very questions tha...
Podcast 191 – The Capponi Altarpiece Part II
Jacopo Pontormo's altarpiece for the Capponi Chapel in the church of Santa Felicità in Florence, Italy, is one of the most beautiful paintings of the Italian Renaissance. Yet, the subject matter of painting still confuses art historians as it does not fit in any traditional iconographic parameters....
Episode 190 – Pontormo’s “Capponi Altarpiece” – Part I
In 1525, Jacopo Pontormo, one of the greatest Mannerist painters of Florence, was commissioned to decorate the family chapel of Ludovico Capponi in the church of Santa Felicità. While the altarpiece is the chapel's most celebrated work, Pontormo also decorated its dome, pendentives and window wall ...
Episode 189 – Theory – What Is Mannerism?
The art produced in Italy in the first half of the 16th century seemed to intentionally reject the principles of Renaissance art. Artists such as Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Giulio Romano, Parmigianino, and Bronzino introduced their own particular styles to their works, creating what later art histo...
Episode 186 – Michelangelo’s New Sacristy in Florence Part II
This episode examines the extraordinary tomb of Giuliano de' Medici in the New Sacristy. The allegorical figures of "Day" and "Night" are two of Michelangelo's most beautiful statues, while the "Effigy of Giuliano de' Medici" is a revolution in funerary statuary....
Episode 187 – Michelangelo’s New Sacristy in Florence Part III
This episode examines the extraordinary tomb of Lorenzo de' Medici in the New Sacristy. The allegorical figures of "Dawn" and "Dusk" are two of Michelangelo's most elegant statues, while the "Effigy of Lorenzo de' Medici" is a clear allusion to the Classical "thinker" pose. We also analyze how the s...
Episode 185 – Michelangelo’s New Sacristy in Florence Part I
While working on the facade project of San Lorenzo, Michelangelo undertook another architectural project for Medici Pope Leo X. Known as the New Sacristy, and located in the Medici Chapels in Florence, Italy, the space was intended to serve as a royal funerary space for the Pope's brother and nephew...
Episode 183 – Leonardo da Vinci’s Late and Controversial Works
Although Leonardo’s Virgin, Child and St. Anne may have been commissioned as early as 1503, it was still in the artist’s studio in 1517 - two years before the artist died. The painting of St. John the Baptist is instead considered the master’s last known painting. This episode not only exa...
Episode 182 – Answers to Open Questions XIII
From the evolution of Romanesque to Renaissance architecture, to urban tabernacles in Florence, to the identity of the apostles in Leonardo's "Last Supper," to Michelangelo's boxer nose, to Lorenzo Ghiberti potentially being insane - and much, much more - this episode answers the very questions that...
Episode 181 – Raphael’s “Transfiguration” (Vatican Museums)
Commissioned in 1516, four years before Raphael's premature death at the age of 37, by Cardinal Giulio de' Medici, the "Transfiguration" was Raphael's last great altarpiece. The painting is a sort of summation of Raphael's artistic evolution, and not only synthesizes the artistic styles of Leonardo ...
Episode 178 – Rome – Raphael’s Room of the Fire in the Borgo
The last of the apartments decorated by Raphael for Popes Julius II and Leo X was the Room of the Fire in the Borgo, painted between 1514-1517. Although largely executed by Raphael's student and friend Giulio Romano, the frescoes represent Raphael's mature period and were completed only 3 years befo...
Episode 177 – Rome – Raphael’s Room of Heliodorus
In 1511, after completing the decoration of the Stanza della Segnatura, Raphael began painting the walls of Pope Julius' private audience room. Named after its principal scene - The Expulsion of Heliodorus - the room contains four of Raphael's most beautiful paintings. This episode will explore the ...
Episode 176 – Rome – Raphael’s School of Athens Part III
This is the final episode of a three-part series dedicated to Raphael's great fresco in the Vatican Museums. It addresses the extraordinary Classically-inspired architectural setting of the painting, as well as identifying the celebrated philosophical and scientific personages depicted. Lastly, this...
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