From Piero della Francesca to Caravaggio: The Italian Renaissance and Beyond – Wednesday 16 – 23 – 30 June

Wednesday 16 June; 23 June; 30 June


With Dr. Eireann Marshall

Few artistic movements have been more magnificent and influential than the Renaissance, whose flowering was above all evident in Italy from the late 14th century. This series of three lectures explores this fantastic period by considering the works of three of its most important exponents, and their followers, in great detail.

Day 1 – Wenesday 16 June – Piero della Francesca
Our first lecture will focus on Early Renaissance by exploring the sublimely understated, calm work of Piero della Francesca who revolutionised art in the way that few artists before or after him have done.
Known principally as a mathematician during his lifetime, Piero helped to introduce linear perspective as well as the mastery of light to 15th century art, paving the way for the great flowering of art produced at the height of the Renaissance. This lecture explores Piero’s humanism and his transformative ideas, focusing on some of his masterpieces, including the True Cross fresco-cycle in Arezzo.

Day 2 – Wenesday 23 June – Raphael
In the second lecture, we continue on to the height of the Renaissance, epitomised by the figure of Raphael, whose tomb in the Pantheon immortalised his fame, the epitaph of which says “Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die.” The goal of the art of the High Renaissance was impeccable verisimilitude captured with ideal, exquisite beauty. Raphael’s attention to perfection of execution and beauty of form, which was both admired in the centuries following his premature death in 1520 and reviled by 19th-century critiques such as Ruskin, made him the foremost painter of his age, even though Michelangelo was perhaps more influential.

Day 3 – Wenesday 30 June – Caravaggio
ìIt is this idealised beauty which the Baroque painter, Caravaggio, reacted against. In our third and finale lecture of the series we will look at Caravaggio, a tortured genius famous for his colourful life who dramatically changed art in the end of the 16th century with his radical naturalism and his quick-working artistic technique. With Caravaggio we see, for the first time, painted on canvas, ordinary looking people, brought to life in graphic detail, including dirty nails and goitres. This radical realism is accompanied by an offering of real psychological insights not witnessed in earlier artists.


Our Biographies series of lectures offer an in-depth look at the life and works of artists from experts in the field.

Our experts will provide new insights into the artists' best-known works while also drawing attention to others that might be less familiar. Each presentation will be accompanied by carefully chosen visual supports, in the form of high definition photos and videos. 

Your Lecturer

Dr Eireann Marshall

Dr Eireann Marshall is a Research Associate and Associate Lecturer with the Open University. She has published a number of articles on Ancient North Africa, and co-edited volumes on 'Death and Disease in the Ancient City' and ‘Women’s influence on Classical Civilisation’. Eireann has led many tours for specialist tour operators, to Italy and North Africa. In 2019 she was awarded Wanderlust Magazine's Top History & Culture Guide at its World Guide Awards.

Event Details

Day 1: 16 June 2021

Day 2: 23 June 2021

Day 3: 30 June 2021

Start time: 18:00 GMT

End time: 19:30 GMT

Venue: Zoom Lecture


Internet Requirements

    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty