Tyler Green
Art-focused Journalism by Tyler Green

Tyler Green Modern Art Notes

The MAN Podcast: Renaissance Florence

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This week’s Modern Art Notes Podcast features J. Paul Getty Museum curator Christine Sciacca, whose “Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance: Painting and Illumination, 1300-1350″ is on view at the Getty through Feb. 10. It opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario on March 16.

The exhibition argues for the existence of a link between manuscript painting and panel painting, two practices that scholars have long considered as unrelated disciplines. It also argues for a significant re-evaluation of Pacino di Bonaguida, a little-studied near-contemporary of Giotto. (Giotto is represented in the exhibition with an astonishing seven paintings.) Sciacca also edited the exhibition’s terrific, richly illustrated and readable catalogue. The exhibition was included on MAN’s 2012 top ten list. The Getty’s Iris blog has a super lineup of posts on the show.

Among the topics we discussed are:

  • Who was Pacino di Bonaguida and why don’t we know him better?
  • Why curators and historians have traditionally split panel painting and manuscript painting into two separate disciplines, and why Sciacca believes it’s important to consider them together;
  • The surprising ways in which early 14thC Florentine painters — especially Pacino — are tweaking traditional subject matters based on their reading of the Bible and related documents, an assertion of the intellectual engagement of the artist; and
  • The way representations of the traditional Madonna and Child subject change at this time, especially to emphasize the child’s interaction with the world around him.

On the second segment, art historian Petra Giloy-Hirtz discusses her new monograph of Hassel Smith. The book includes contributions from Paul J. Karlstrom, Susan Landauer, Robert C. Morgan, Peter Selz and Allan Temko. The book features paintings Smith made over 60 years and places him and his work in the context of his politics and the artists of his time, including Clyfford Still, David Park and the New York abstract expressionists.

Listen to the program: To download the show to your PC/mobile device or to listen in your browser, click here. Subscribe to The Modern Art Notes Podcast via iTunesSoundCloud or RSS. Stream the program at MANPodcast.com.

The Modern Art Notes Podcast is an independent production of Modern Art Notes Media. It is edited by Wilson Butterworth. The MAN Podcast is released under this Creative Commons license.

For links images of artworks discussed on this week’s show, please click through to the jump.

Bernardo Daddi, The Virgin Mary with Saints Thomas Aquinas and Paul, about 1330. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Pacino di Bonaguida, Chiarito Tabernacle, 1340s. Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Giotto, Madonna and Child, 1320-1330. Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Pacino di Bonaguida, Appeal of Prato to Robert of Anjou, about 1335-1340. Collection of The British Library, London.

Pacino di Bonaguida, The Crucifixion, about 1315-40. Collection of Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell’Arte Roberto Longhi di Firenze.

Left: Giotto, The Virgin and Child with Saints and Allegorical Figures, about 1315–20. Right: Giotto, The Crucifixion, about 1315-20. Collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg.

Pacino di Bonaguido, The Ascent of the Cross. Collection of The Morgan Library & Museum, New York.

Giotto, Christ Blessing with Saint John the Evangelist, the Virgin Mary, Saint John the Baptist, and Saint Francis (Peruzzi Altarpiece), about 1310–1315. Collection of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh.

Hassel Smith, A Rose, 1959. Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Hassel Smith, 2 the Moon, 1961. Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Hassel Smith, Untitled, 1995.

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  1. [...] curator Frances Terpak (who recently helped acquire the Lewis Baltz archive for the GRI) and former MAN Podcast guest Christine Sciacca, whose recent “Florence at the Dawn of Renaissance Painting” was one [...]

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