The Italian Renaissance at the Louvre with Marie Dessaillen

The Italian Renaissance at the Louvre with Marie Dessaillen


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Around 1280-1290, the earliest signs of the Renaissance started to blossom in Italy, breaking with the stereotypical formulas of Byzance. A century later, other countries in Europe started to follow suit. This conversation will discover how and why it happened, and what links Giotto, Fra Angelico, Uccello, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, Raphael, or the hilarious Arcimboldo.

It might seem odd to learn about the evolution of Italian art from a French museum. However, the Louvre is lucky enough to hold one of the most fascinating collections of Italian art in the world. Italian art started to fascinate the Kings of France and their court during the Italian wars (1494-1559). On their return to France, they invited Italian gardeners, architects, painters, and sculptors to come and work for them, collecting their work as they did so. If the kings' collection was rich in Italian art of the High Renaissance and after, it was however sadly lacking in works of the early Renaissance. After Napoleon's conquest of the Peninsula, the curator of the Louvre, Vivant Denon, started to take his pick directly from the Italian collections, bringing to Paris the pieces that were missing. This intellectual process, which was continued afterward by enlightened and prestigious purchases, purposely gave the Louvre a collection that truly shows the whole evolution of Italian Art History.

Led by art historian Marie Dessaillen, this interactive discussion will show how economical and societal transformations challenged the power of the decision of the Church in visual arts, how new subjects started to appear in paintings and statues, how the birth of a cultured society brought on a different kind of symbolic, one that could only be understood by the happy few. Balancing between realism and mannerism, the 300 years of the Renaissance gave Art History some of its most iconic masterpieces. Let's put them back in perspective! Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the evolution of art in Italy from 1280 to 1600.

Note: This is the first of a series of 4 seminars on the Louvre collections, each independently designed to describe in-depth the main movements of European Art History. After the Italian Renaissance, Marie Dessaillen will focus on the differences between Flemish and Dutch Art, before presenting the largest collection of French Art in the world in two parts: the Medieval and Renaissance French Art, followed by the period when Paris ruled the artistic world: from Classism to Romanticism. It will be an occasion for participants to place all their favorite artists back into a chronology and make sense of their evolution. From Giotto to Michelangelo, from Van Eyck to Vermeer, from the medieval anonymity of the artisan to Delacroix, let's make sense of European Art History!

The daughter of a sculptor, Marie has been surrounded by art ever since she was born. A native Parisienne, she holds an undergraduate degree in history and art history, with a specialty in iconography and French and Flemish paintings from the 16th to the 18th centuries. She also holds a Master's degree in museology from the Ecole du Louvre and one in Art History from the Sorbonne.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
83%
(10)
8%
(1)
8%
(1)
0%
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J
J.
Lovely Sunday in the Louvre
K
K.D.
K
K.S.
I need more stars....
S
S.O.
High points of high renaissance
H
H.
Excellent lecture!

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
83%
(10)
8%
(1)
8%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
J
J.
Lovely Sunday in the Louvre
K
K.D.
K
K.S.
I need more stars....
S
S.O.
High points of high renaissance
H
H.
Excellent lecture!