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A Renaissance Christmas

Evening Program

Monday, December 4, 2017 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1W0015
Nativity (detail) in Adoration of the Magi, 1423, by Gentile da Fabriano (Uffizi Gallery)

The story of the nativity of Jesus Christ has served as inspiration for artworks by a great number of Renaissance masters. Examine some of these moving visual interpretations of the events that define the Christmas season by artists such as Giotto, Simone Martini, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Tintoretto, and Caravaggio,.

Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, revisits the great Italian masterpieces that portray the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Adoration of the Magi, Massacre of the Innocents, and the Flight into Egypt as depicted through three centuries of art. The examination reveals how individual artists interpreted the story from the perspectives of their own styles and eras, ranging from the humanizing focus of Giotto’s paintings to the poetic hyperrealism of Caravaggio. In the process, Ruggiero also examines the history of a number of the more popular, iconic, and folkloric aspects of the holiday.

Ruggiero, who divides his time between Italy and the United States, has lectured on Italian art and architecture for American university programs in Florence for the past 20 years, including those of Syracuse, Kent State, Vanderbilt, and Boston College. He has also been featured in documentaries on the Italian Renaissance produced by the History Channel and PBS.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)