Padua: Saints, Sinners, and Giotto with Elaine Ruffolo

Padua: Saints, Sinners, and Giotto with Elaine Ruffolo


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Padua boasts the second oldest university in Europe, one of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Italy, and the most important decorative complex of the late Middle Ages; Giotto's Scrovegni Chapel.

Padua can rightly claim its place among Italy’s most interesting and historic cities. Nicknamed La Dotta (the Learned), Padua is the Veneto’s intellectual center, once home to the great Roman historian Livy. Since 1221 it has been home to one of Europe’s most celebrated universities, which counts Petrarch, Dante, and Galileo among its alumni. Artists including Giotto, Donatello, and Mantegna, all left their artistic marks on this lively town. Padua attracts thousands of pilgrims every year as it is the resting place of Saint Anthony of Padua. His exotic, seven-domed mosque-like basilica is the city’s most striking landmark. But without a doubt, Padua’s prize is the Arena Chapel, also known as the Scrovegni Chapel, painted by the father of Renaissance art, Giotto. It is often considered the most important and influential decorative monument in the history of the Italian Renaissance and changed art forever.

Led by Elaine Ruffolo, an expert on Italian Renaissance art, this interactive seminar will explore the history and art of Padua. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation for one of the most important cultural centers in Italy.

Elaine Ruffolo has been teaching art history in Florence for over 25 years and is a popular instructor for both students and adults. Her special interests include the economy and patronage of 15th century Italy and how it relates to art. Elaine firmly believes that the best way to understand a work of art is by exploring the context in which it was made. She holds an MA in art history.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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