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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 166 – Rome: Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel Ceiling – Part I
When Michelangelo signed the contract with Pope Julius II in 1508 to paint the Sistine Chapel Ceiling, little did he know the turmoil that awaited him. This first of several podcasts dedicated to the world's most famous ceiling will examine the circumstances behind the contract between artist and ...
Episode 165 – Rome: The Basilica of St. Peter
After 120 years of construction, the reign of 18 different popes, and the direction of 12 different architects, St. Peter’s Basilica was finally consecrated in 1626. Measuring more than two football fields in length, it was by far the largest church in Christendom, and a fitting monument to the bu...
Episode 164 – Michelangelo and the Tomb of Julius II
When Michelangelo was called to Rome in 1506 by the Pope Julius II, it was to design and carve the mother of all tombs. Intended to stand four stories in height and directly over the tomb of St. Peter, and to accommodate 40 over-life-sized statues, it was a direct reflection of both the pope’s meg...
Episode 161 – Venice: Giorgione’s “Tempest” and “La Vecchia”
Notwithstanding that his life and artistic career were cut short by plague in 1510 while the artist was in his thirties, Giorgione revolutionized European painting by his introduction of enigmatic and unconventional iconography. This episode examines two of Giorgione's most important paintings, both...
Episode 160 – Venice – Vittore Carpaccio’s “The Legend of St. Ursula”
Carpaccio's extraordinary visual narrative of the life of St. Ursula is one of the most celebrated examples of cyclical Venetian Renaissance painting. Recently restored, the nine large canvases are now on display in the Accademia Gallery of Venice and present a vivid snapshot of life in Venice at th...
Episode 158 – Venice: Giovanni Bellini’s “St. Job Altarpiece”
This episode examines the first great Venetian painting of the Renaissance. Although the Venetian school of painting appeared almost a full century after that of Florence, the extraordinary genius of Venetian painters such as Giovanni Bellini rapidly made it the major rival of central Italian Renais...
Episode 157 – Answers to Open Questions XI
From Botticelli and the Bonfires of the Vanities, to the extraordinary collection of artists' portraits and self-portraits in the Uffizi Gallleries, to the use of AI in art authentication, to Botticelli's $92M "Portrait of a Young Man with a Medal," to the Virgin Mary's thoughts in Michelangelo's P...
Episode 156 – The Divine Michelangelo Part VIII – The Doni Tondo
This episode examines the only painting by Michelangelo in Florence, and one of only two finished paintings executed by the artist before he decorated the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. In many ways the vibrant, expressive colors and sculptural plasticity of the figures in this painting anticipated ...
Episode 154 – Leonardo vs. Michelangelo- The Battle of the Battles – Part I
In 1504, Florence found its two greatest artists in the city at the same time. Not wanting to miss this rare opportunity to have them test their talents against each other, massive murals were commissioned from each in the great hall of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio. This first of a two-part series w...
Episode 153 – Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa
When Leonardo began painting the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of the wealthy cloth merchant Francesco del Giocondo, in 1503, little did he know just how much employment he would generate for future art historians. From theories concerning her enigmatic smile, to the painting being a self-portra...
Episode 152 – The Divine Michelangelo Part VII – The David (Part III)
This episode is the third and final part of a three-part podcast on the world's most celebrated statue. From the lack of Goliath's head, to the sling and hard-to-see stone in David's hands, to the expressive body language of the statue, this podcast will examine the unique iconography and local civi...
Episode 151 – The Divine Michelangelo Part VI – The David (Part II)
This episode is the second of a three-part podcast on the world's most celebrated statue. From the original contract drawn up in 1463 - 12 years before Michelangelo was even born! - to Michelangelo's sculptural inheritance and eventual triumphant completion of the statue, to the city-wide commission...
Episode 150 – The Divine Michelangelo Part V – The David (Part 1)
This episode is the first of a three-part podcast on the world's most celebrated statue. From its original location in Piazza della Signoria, to its move in the 19th century to a newly built museum, to the centuries of erosion and damage that the sculpture has suffered, this podcast examines the pro...
Episode 149 – The Divine Michelangelo Part IV – The Pietà
The Pietà was Michelangelo’s first “number one hit.” At the ripe old age of 23, he produced one of the greatest statues of all time. The innocence, sensitivity, and technical virtuosity of this particular early work would never be achieved again in Michelangelo’s entire 72-year career. ...
Episode 148 – The Divine Michelangelo Part III – The Bacchus
Michelangelo arrived in Rome for the first time in 1496 at the age of 21. His first important patron was the fabulously wealthy Cardinal Riario who wanted the young sculptor to carve a statue of the Roman god of wine that he could pass off as an antique. Surprisingly, Riario did not accept the finis...
Episode 147 – Answers to Open Questions – Part X
From contemporary theories about Brunelleschi's dome, to Ghirlandaio's frescoes in Santa Trinita, to the abandoned design of semi-circular chapels on the outside of Santo Spirito, to Bernini's extraordinary early sculpture of Aeneas, this episode answers the very questions that you ask me about the ...
Episode 145 – The Divine Michelangelo – Part I
Michelangelo Buonarroti’s artistic career spanned more than seven decades, during which time he produced some of the most extraordinary works of art in human history. This episode will examine the early years of the artist from his birth through his apprenticeship to his earliest teachers and his ...
Episode 144 – The Brera Gallery in Milan, Italy
This episode explores the extraordinary collection of Italian Renaissance paintings in Milan's most important painting museum, which houses masterpieces by Caravaggio, Raphael, Piero Della Francesca, Tintoretto, Bellini and Mantegna.  ...
Episode 143 – Salvator Mundi and Leonardo da Vinci
This episode addresses the world's most expensive painting that sold for nearly a half billion dollars in 2017. Although the attribution to Leonardo da Vinci is not certain, the astonishing cost, murky provenance and uncertain current location of the painting have made it one of the most famous work...
Episode 142 – Leonardo da Vinci’s Sala delle Asse
This episode examines one of the most unique decorative programs in history. A room in the Sforza Castle in Milan whose walls and vault are covered with illusionistic trees that form a natural pergola. We also discuss how Leonardo's expression of arboreal architecture has been brought back to life w...
Episode 141 – Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper – Part II
This is the second of a two-part episode on Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper" which is considered the first work of the High Renaissance. From the meticulously constructed linear perspective, to the theatrical gestures of the apostles, to the singular dramatic moment that Leonardo almost seemed to "...
Episode 140 – Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper – Part I
This episode will introduce Leonardo's famous work. From its location, to the rather complicated process of making arrangements to see it, to its poor state of conservation, discover the surprising reality behind one of the most famous paintings in the world.  ...
Episode 139 – Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man
This episode examines one of the most famous drawings in the world - Leonardo's "Vitruvian Man." From the meaning of the subject, to those artists who influenced Leonardo, to how the drawing has come to symbolize the historical period known as the Renaissance, we shall unpack the extraordinary image...
Episode 138 – Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine”
This podcast examines one of Leonardo da Vinci's most celebrated portraits, the subject of which was Cecilia Gallerani, mistress of Ludovico Sforza. In this beautiful portrait, today located in Krakow, Poland, Leonardo introduced further innovations to the genre of Italian portraiture, particularly ...
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