Conference: Piero della Francesca & disegno (Courtauld Institute London – 19 & 20 June 2015)

Research Forum, Summer 2015
Friday, 19 June and Saturday, 20 June 2015
timings to be confirmed, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art and Sainsbury Wing Theatre, National Gallery, London.
Keynote Speaker: Professor Emeritus James R. Banker (North Caroline State University)
Confirmed Speakers: Carmen Bambach (The Metropolitan Museum of Art), Roberto Bellucci (Opificio delle Pietre Dure), Ciro Castelli (Opificio delle Pietre Dure), Frank Dabell (Temple University, Rome), Francesco P. Di Teodoro (Politecnico di Torino and Centro Linceo Interdisciplinare “B. Segre”, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei), David Franklin (Archive of Modern Conflict, Toronto and London), Cecilia Frosinini (Opificio delle Pietre Dure), Giacomo Guazzini (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), Amanda Lillie (University of York), Rocco Sinisgalli (University of Rome, La Sapienza), Elena Squillantini (Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell’Arte Roberto Longhi)
Ticket/entry details: £26 (£16 students, Courtauld staff/students and concessions)
Organised by: Professor Emeritus James R. Banker (North Caroline State University), Professor Tom Henry (University of Kent), Dr Machtelt Brüggen Israëls (University of Amsterdam), Dr Scott Nethersole (The Courtauld), Dr Nathaniel Silver (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), and Dr Caroline Campbell (National Gallery, London)
The role of design (disegno) is fundamental to understanding the working practice of Piero della Francesca. While none of his works on paper survive, research conducted in the past decade by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and the Sherman Fairchild Paintings Conservation Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has revealed Piero’s obsessive working and reworking of compositions. Disegno, in the period sense of the term, was also a problem-solving tool, a catalyst for invention, and an effective means of communication.
Problems raised by Piero’s earliest known work, the Baptism (National Gallery, London) which was part of the San Giovanni d’Afra triptych (Museo Civico, Sansepolcro), introduce the practical and conceptual implications of Piero’s approach to disegno and will serve to open this conference.  The following sessions will be dedicated to the composition of his frescoes, the role of underdrawings in his paintings, the use of geometrical figures in his mathematical treatises, and the transmission of his style.
James R. Banker is Professor Emeritus of Italian history at North Carolina State University, and lives for most of the year in Florence and Sansepolcro. An expert on the life and works of Piero della Francesca and Sassetta, two artists closely associated with San Sepolcro, his research has emphasized the role of lay religion in the lives of early Renaissance Italians, and the role of patrons, lay and clerical, in the paintings of both Sassetta and Piero. Author of numerous articles on Renaissance themes, his books include Death in the Community: Memorialization and Confraternities in an Italian Commune and The Culture of San Sepolcro During the Youth of Piero della Francesca (2003). His most recent books are both dedicated to Piero della Francesca: Piero della Francesca: Artist and Man (2014) and Documenti fondamentalli per la conoscenza della vita e dell’arte di Piero della Francesca (2013).
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