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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 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...
Episode 175 – Rome – Raphael’s “School of Athens” Part II
This episode explores the decorative context of Raphael's famous fresco. From Apollo on Mt. Parnassus, to the allegorical figures of the cardinal virtues, the extraordinary "Disputa", the paintings around the "School of Athens" are fundamental to its meaning....
Episode 174 – Rome – Raphael’s “School of Athens” Part I
Although Raphael's fresco known as the "School of Athens" is the most celebrated painting of the Stanza della Segnatura, it is actually a part of a much larger program. This episode addresses the original function of the room, which was Pope Julius II's library, and how all of Raphael's paintings ar...
Episode 173 – Raphael – The Prince of Painters
This episode examines the extraordinary career of one of the most important painters in history – Raphael Sanzio da Urbino – better known simply as “Raphael.” Along with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, Raphael heralded in the period known as the High Renaissance. Combining grace, eleganc...
Episode 172 – Answers to Open Questions XII
From unfinished church facades, to postponed Palios, to Renaissance giraffes, to Mona Lisa's smile, to the building behind the Trevi Fountain - and much, much more - this episode answers the very questions that you asked me about the great art, artists and history of the Italian Renaissance....
Episode 171 – Rome: Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel Ceiling Part VI
The prophets and sibyls that flank the main scenes of the Sistine Chapel ceiling are some of Michelangelo's most impressive figures. Their dramatic poses, expressive, vibrant colors and powerful forms are both inspirational and frightening. Below and between them, Michelangelo filled the spandrels ...
Episode 170 – Rome: Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel Ceiling Part V
The last three Genesis scenes of the Sistine Chapel ceiling demonstrate Michelangelo's extraordinary ability to represent complex subjects in incredibly effective ways. But they also reveal the divine artist's haste to complete the ceiling project. This episode closely examines the iconography, styl...
Episode 169 – Rome: Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel Ceiling – Part IV
By the time Michelangelo reached the frescoes in the middle of the ceiling, he introduced a major stylistic change, due, most likely, to being able to see the frescoes from the ground. This episode examines the Adam and Eve scenes and how they reflect this stylistic change as well as revealing the m...
Episode 168 – Rome: Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel Ceiling – Part III
Painting an 8,000 sq. ft. fresco cycle onto the ceiling of a chapel must have been a daunting task even for an artist of the caliber of Michelangelo. This episode examines the process and order by which Michelangelo executed his frescoes, focusing specifically on the first three painted scenes that ...
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