Lecture | Charting Cultural Transformation through Renaissance Preaching – Peter Howard

Charting Cultural Transformation through Renaissance Preaching

Associate Professor Peter Howard from Monash University


St Dominic and St Francis by Angelo Lion Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice

How did the artists of the Sistine Chapel wall frescoes develop and execute a complex programme in an amazingly short period of time?

How do we explain the configuration of public space in early Renaissance Italy?

Who authorised the magnificent display that characterises Renaissance Florence?

These are just some of the questions on which light is shed if an expansive role is assigned to preaching in late medieval and early Renaissance Italy.

This argument is a reversal of the image of the mendicant “penitential preachers” that Burckhardt constructed a century and a half ago but that still prevails, even among some scholars. Most commonly, the historiography identifies the humanists as the innovators of the day and as the disseminators of a renewed classical culture. This can be overemphasised.

Associate Professor Peter Howard argues that evidence suggests that a traditional medium such as the sermon was just as, if not more, responsible for a new historical and social vocabulary which equipped Florentines in particular to meet the demands of a rapidly changing society.

Presented by The Italian Cultural Institute Melbourne and RISM (Research in Italian Studies, Melbourne)

Talk in English

Venue: Italian Cultural Institute, 233 Domain Rd, South Yarra

Date: Monday 2 September 6.00pm

Free admission with light refreshments.

Bookings essential: bookings.iicmelbourne@esteri.it