Hybrid Lecture: Gilded Suns and Peacock Angels: Theatrical Materiality and Art in Fifteenth-Century Florence, Laura Stefanescu, Wednesday 14th June, 5pm BST

In fifteenth-century Florence, the phenomenon of religious theatre and ritual performance, promoted by adult and youth confraternities throughout the city, reached an unparalleled popularity, transitioning from the realm of devotion to that of the spectacular. The highlight of these performances was the materialisation of a multi-sensory heaven on stage and the appearance of its living angels (young Florentine boys) in their dazzling costumes. Painters living in the Santo Spirito quarter, where most of these activities took place, were actively involved in the creation of the apparatus for sacred plays. They were sometimes even members of the confraternities that produced the plays, as was, for example, Neri di Bicci, one of the most successful Florentine painters of the period. This talk aims to explore the connections between painting and the theatrical experience of heaven which shaped the visual culture of fifteenth-century Florence.

The seminar will be delivered before an audience and livestreamed. Separate booking links are  posted on Eventbrite for each form of attendance.

Booking Link to Eventbrite for livestreamed seminar

booking Link to Eventbrite for in-person seminar


Published by Ellie Wilson

Ellie Wilson holds a First Class Honours in the History of Art from the University of Bristol, with a particular focus on Medieval Florence. In 2020 she achieved a Distinction in her MA at The Courtauld Institute of Art, where she specialised in the art and architecture of Medieval England under the supervision of Dr Tom Nickson. Her dissertation focussed on an alabaster altarpiece, and its relationship with the cult of St Thomas Becket in France and the Chartreuse de Vauvert. Her current research focusses on the artistic patronage of London’s Livery Companies immediately pre and post-Reformation. Ellie will begin a PhD at the University of York in Autumn 2021 with a WRoCAH studentship, under the supervision of Professor Tim Ayers and Dr Jeanne Nuechterlein.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: