Evening lecture

Giancarla Periti: The Renaissance Afterlife of Ravenna

Ercole de’ Roberti, Pala Portuense, 1481, Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera

Ravenna's treasures have long occupied a crucial place in histories of Byzantine and Medieval art and architecture. The city's splendors are, however, totally absent in the art historical narratives of the Renaissance. Yet pre-modern artists studied Ravenna's heritage and saw the city as a site possessing an extended and colorful antiquity of classical, Early Christian and Byzantine forms. Likewise, travelers and scholars left admiring descriptions of Ravenna and its splendors despite the spoliation and recycling of its ornaments and precious materials through time. This lecture charts a series of visual interplays with Ravenna's heritage during the Renaissance, tracing renewed appropriations and interpretations of its Byzantine and Early Christian treasures in works made in various media. These instances of creative interaction with the city's splendors counteract the understated role of Ravenna's treasures in our current critical accounts, simultaneously mapping an enlarged artistic geography of the Renaissance.


Giancarla Periti is Associate Professor of Italian Renaissance Art at the University of Toronto.
She was educated in Italian and American universities (Ph.D. The Johns Hopkins University, 2003). Periti's research explores the dense intersections between images and texts, vision and space, media and making. She is the author of In the Courts of Religious Ladies. Art, Vision, and Pleasure in Italian Renaissance Convents (2016). She has forthcoming edited volumes with Alexander Nagel on Ravenna in the Imagination of Renaissance Art, and with Alessandro Nova on The Network of Cassinese Arts in Mediterranean Renaissance Italy. Periti's current book project, Correggio: Margins, Frames and the Center of Painting, revolves around questions of liminality and artistic geography in the art of Correggio.

Periti's scholarship has been supported by several institutions including the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts; Harvard University/Villa I Tatti and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

28 May 2019, 6:00pm

Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai
Via dei Servi 51
50122 Firenze


This event will be documented photographically and/or recorded on video. Please let us know if you do not agree with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz using images in which you might be recognizable for event documentation and public relation purposes (e.g. social media).


Our Newsletter provides you with free information on events, tenders, exhibitions and recent publications from the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz.

If you would like to receive our newsletter, please enter your name and e-mail address:

*required field

Notes on the content of the newsletter and transit procedures

This letter is sent via MailChimp, where your e-mail address and name will be saved for sending the newsletter.

Once you have completed the form, you will receive a "Double-Opt-In-E-Mail," in which you are asked to confirm your registration. You can cancel your subscription to the Newsletter at any time ("Opt-out"). You will find an unsubscribe link in every Newsletter and in the Double-Opt-in-E-Mail.

You will receive detailed information about transit procedures and your withdrawal options in our privacy policy.