Andrew Chen: Mendicant Frameworks for Meaning and Experience

Domenico Ghirlandaio and workshop, Resurrection, 1490–1494. Berlin, Gemäldegalerie

How did mendicants experience pictures in their conventual churches? Examination of a selection of manuscripts that entered the libraries of mendicant convents in the Renaissance reveals the tenacity and relevance of older ideas about ways of seeing, the origins of art, beauty and ugliness, and the function of visual representation. This research seminar will focus on the question of the Renaissance experience of three altarpieces from 1490s Florence: the high altarpiece of Santa Maria Novella by Ghirlandaio, and the two side altarpieces at Santa Chiara by Perugino and Lorenzo di Credi. It will conclude with a consideration of implications for the notion of period eye.

Seating is limited, so we kindly ask you to contact us in advance:


Andrew Chen is Research Fellow in History of Art at St John's College, Cambridge. From 2013 to 2015, he was a predoctoral fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz. He is the author of the recently published book Flagellant Confraternities and Italian Art, 1260–1610: Ritual and Experience (Amsterdam University Press).

31 October 2018, 2:30pm

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai 
Via dei Servi 51 
50122 Firenze


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