Fast Art: The Duke and the Duchess

They are double-sided portraits, painted by Piero della Francesca, who was the court painter at the court of Urbino These portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino are amongst the most famous portraits in 15th century Italian art. Why? Because they are revolutionary in their depiction and fascinating in their symbolism. They are double-sided […]

Grotesque Style

The term Grotesque derives from the caves, or grotte, where Renaissance builders unearthed this ancient form The Grotesque style was all the rage during the 1500s for both interiors and exteriors all over Italy. It continued to be so for the following two centuries. Nowadays, when the word is mentioned, negative images of unfortunate distorted […]

Titian Sees the Light

It would take Titian the generation following Giovanni Bellini to really exploit the full potential of oil. He digested the expertise of Bellini and then took it to another level.   Titian (Tiziano in Italian) was one of the greatest painters Venice ever produced – perhaps the greatest painter Venice ever produced. He was the […]

Ghiberti’s Doors

Ghiberti’s doors are a splendid masterpiece of what would become the characteristic of Renaissance art – spatial realism with people and buildings shown proportionately. The bronze, gold-covered doors of the Florentine Baptistery opposite the entrance to the Cathedral are one of the masterpieces of the early Renaissance period. They were 25 years in the making […]

Past Italia! – Emma, Lady hamilton

Born the daughter of a Lancashire blacksmith, she rose – thanks to her incomparable beauty, sharp wit and fine intelligence – to become one of the most celebrated ladies in all of Europe… Two hundred years ago this month the world lost Emma, Lady Hamilton, second wife of Lord William Hamilton, British Envoy Extraordinary to […]