Faculty seminar

Religious Poverty, Visual Riches.  Sharing Art in the Dominican Churches of Central Italy in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries

Thursday, 23 May 2013

16.00 - 18.00, Research Forum South Room

face of St Dominic with monk's tonsure and clothing
Duccio di Buoninsegna, St. Dominic. Detail of Polyptych, c.1300. Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena, no. 28, formerly S. Domenico, Siena. (Photo: Joanna Cannon)

Speaker(s): Dr Joanna Cannon (The Courtauld Institute of Art)

Ticket/entry details: Open only to members of The Courtauld's teaching and curatorial staff. RSVP by 20 May for catering purposes to Researchforum@courtauld.ac.uk

Organised by: Professor Caroline Arscott

The Dominican friars were vowed to a life of religious poverty, and yet by the end of the fourteenth century their churches contained many visual riches: works of great aesthetic, spiritual and sometimes also financial value. Joanna Cannon's forthcoming study--the first to be devoted to art in the Dominican churches of central Italy in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries--seeks to understand how and why the friars accumulated and then put to use such visual wealth. At the heart of the book is the Dominicans’ evolving relationship with the laity, expressed at first by the partitioning of their churches, and subsequently by the ever-increasing sharing of space, and of the production and use of art.

The seminar will present an overview of the structure and contents of the book, and more detailed consideration of a single example of the sharing of art in a Dominican church.

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