Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful
This program is over. Hope you didn't miss it!
Browse other programs we offer

Papal Avignon

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0705
Select Your Tickets
$20 - Member
$25 - Non-Member
Powered by Zoom

Papal palace, Avignon

From 1309, when the first pope arrived in Avignon to escape dangerous political turbulence in Rome, both the papacy and this French city on the Rhône were changed forever—and not always for the better. The popes’ presence there for the next seven decades created a grand cultural moment in Avignon as the city attracted writers, musicians, artists, and performers of every sort. Petrarch brought humanist studies to the court and papal patronage attracted Simone Martini and many other painters to the city. But as the center of faith, papal Avignon brought about a serious division within Christendom.

Charlie Steen, professor of history at the University of New Mexico, explores this alternative court and how lavish expenditure on art, architecture, and entertainment by popes—who were surrounded by people of political and cultural importance—created a hedonistic rather than a pious environment. Other rulers in western Europe followed suit by electing their own rival popes. This confluence of religion, politics, and the arts created an unprecedented level of confusion in religious life at a time when the Black Death, the Hundred Years’ War and Peasant Rebellions wreaked havoc in Western Europe.

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
This online program is presented on Zoom.