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Renaissance Masterpieces at the Louvre



90 minutes


After this seminar, you'll know all there is to know about : The History of the Louvre, Masterpieces at the Louvre, Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian Renaissance, the French Renaissance, King Francis I, Queen Marie de' Medici, the Mona Lisa, Michelangelo, Raphael.

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The Musée du Louvre holds one of the world's most exhaustive collections of Italian Renaissance art work, outside of Italy.  But what is the Italian Renaissance, exactly, and how did it travel all the way from Italy to France?  Who are Kings Francis I and Louis XIV, and why were they so obsessed with this artistic movement? Why is the Mona Lisa, the world's most famous Italian painting, currently held at a French museum?  During this seminar, we will take a look at the Louvre's spectacular collection of Renaissance masterpieces and explore the difference between the Italian Renaissance and the French Renaissance.  Join us as we discover the people both powerful and talented behind this magnificent display of artistic genius at one of the world's most spectacular museums. 

Early Italian Renaissance

During the first part of the seminar, we will explore the Early Italian Renaissance : what is it and which masterpieces are held at the Louvre?  We will see the beautiful Botticelli frescoes  from the Villa Lemmi, a perfect example of Renaissance humanism and neoplatonism, as developed by the protegés of the great Medici family in Florence.  See  one of the best uses of single-point perspective as developed by Brunelleschi, in Fra Angelico's Coronation of the Virgin, and a spectacular collection of Ghirlandaio Madonnas displaying perfect depth and proportion.  Follow the development of the portrait from profile to three-quarters, and see some of the most exceptional examples of portraiture by Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Pisanello and Piero della Francesca.  Learn the main characteristics of the Early Renaissance and discover how this movement would blossom into an even more exciting, more inspiring artistic movement : the High Renaissance.


High Italian Renaissance

Next, we will follow the timeline into the High Renaissance, an explosion of talent and genius in the early 1500s.  We'll take a look at the five main artists of this new movement -- Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, Titian, Giorgione -- and discover the French kings that admired, collected and supported their work.  Hear about King Francis I, who collected a host of Raphael paintings (all of which are now currently in the Louvre) and invited Leonardo da Vinci to his palace in Amboise as a guest of honour.  Discover the story behind Leonardo's three-year stay in France, and hear why he had to leave the Mona Lisa (and two other paintings) behind.  Hear about King Louis XIV, a great admirer of Raphael and Titian, and see some of the most beautiful paintings in the Louvre Collection : Raphael's portrait of Baldassare Castiglione, The Pastoral Concert by Giorgione, and Titian's Woman with a Mirror.  Also hear about the Captives, Michelangelo's famous series of sculptures two of which are now at the Louvre.


French Renaissance

Lastly, we will take a look at the French Renaissance and how it came to be, under the famous French kings Francis I and Henry IV.  See how the French Renaissance began by taking its inspiration from its Italian counterpart, until ultimately taking on a life of its own and fully embodying the spirit of the French way of life.  Hear about King Francis Ist, who was so greatly inspired by the Italian Renaissance -- thanks to his Italian daughter-in-law Catherine de' Medici, in part --  that he decided to pour his funds into artistic patronage and create a revolutionary French style unlike any other before it.  Discover the great works of art in the Louvre from this new, French Renaissance, including the court portraits by Clouet, little treasures depicting the king's closest friends and family members, and the unusual paintings from the School of Fontainebleau.  Hear about King Henry IV and his wife Marie de' Medici, an Italian from the famous House of Medici in Florence, and their joint patronage of the arts at the end of the 16th Century.  Discover the Medici Gallery, one of the hidden treasures of the Louvre and an iconic symbol of the French Renaissance, featuring 21 canvases by Rubens all depicting the life story of Marie de' Medici, Italian Queen of France and her French King, Henry IV. 

French Renaissance, Italian Renaissance, and the Louvre : a tale of two nations, two artistic styles, and one of the world's greatest museums.

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