This session was the initial of 4 lectures and it presented the necessary background to appreciate the depiction of the bubonic plague ("Black Death" of the 14th century) and its aftermath -- in Venetian art. Dr. Steer related the important information about how this plague began, spread, the city's susceptibility, how and where the ill were cared for, and what the population perceived about the plague. The slides, photos, and 4 interspersed video clips were wonderful. Added to the understanding. Excerpts read from centuries-old writings made the suffering of this era vivid. This background session was actually very interesting to me as a health care provider. (Ah, the Venetian doctors had their own (gruesome-looking PPE)! I was such parallels from these past pandemics (were quite a few from mid-1300s to mid 1600s) and our current one. I learned a lot. I also started to feel fortunate even though we are in the midst of our COVID 19 pandemic as we have the means to protect ourselves (if used) and the emergence of probable effective vaccines on the horizon. Knowing this will help one more fully appreciate what we could learn while interpreting the art during our upcoming sessions.
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