The Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art 2009: Ghiberti and the Painters of Florence

29 Sep 2023

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Keith Christiansen, John Pope-Hennessy Chairman of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Keith Christiansen explores the complex relationship of painting and sculpture in 15th-century Florence, in this podcast recorded on November 8, 2009, as part of the Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art series. Christiansen notes that Ghiberti’s contribution has long been overshadowed by Donatello’s genius in art-historical literature. Ghiberti has been classified as a transitional figure between the Gothic and Renaissance periods. Christiansen seeks to correct this legacy by explaining that the two principal reference points of Renaissance aesthetics in the figurative arts-nature and classical antiquity-are not fixed concepts, and that such thinking has led to false distinctions and misrepresentations of Ghiberti and the painters of Florence.

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