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Italian Cities of Art – Assisi, Siena, Florence

Dr Janet Robson is an independent art historian with a BA in History from UCL (1980), an MA in Early Sienese Painting and a PhD in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art (1997 & 2001). She has been lecturing for over a decade and has published extensively on thirteenth and fourteenth-century Italian art. Her book The Making of Assisi (co-authored with Donal Cooper) won the Art Book Prize 2014. She has studied extensively in Italy, having held research fellowships at the British School at Rome and Villa I Tatti (Harvard University) in Florence, and now divides her time between Assisi and London.

This study day focuses on Assisi, Siena and Florence and the artistic interaction between them as the Middle Ages were transformed into the Renaissance. The starting point is the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi, specifically the frescoes traditionally thought to have been painted by Giotto. Siena was famous for the exquisite panel paintings created for its cathedral, town hall, and the new churches of the friars. Artists such as Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers pushed each other to greater heights of invention in their paintings in the first half of the fourteenth century. Florence has traditionally been seen as the birthplace of the Renaissance. The age of Giotto is characterized by panel paintings and monumental fresco cycles, ushering in a new style of highly dramatic story-telling that would long influence later generations of Renaissance artists.

Special interest days are intended to give members an in-depth look at some aspects of art and culture. No previous knowledge is needed. No need to take notes or join in discussions if you don’t want to – just enjoy listening to one of our expert and enthusiastic art historians on one of their specialist subjects!


Cost £33 Including refreshments and lunch


10am                            Coffee and registration

10.30 – 11.30               Lecture 1: Assisi

11.30                              Coffee Break

11.50  – 12.50              Lecture 2: Siena

12.50                             Buffet lunch including soft drink (wine available)

1.50 – 2.50                 Lecture 3: Florence

2.50 – 3pm                Review of Day and questions


BOOK THROUGH THE ARTS SOCIETY DANE VALLEY: danevalley@theartssociety.org or visit www.theartssociety.org/dane-valley