Art in the Making Lectures

Thursday, November 15, 2018 from 5 – 6:30 p.m

Golden Byzantium
330-1205 AD; 1253-1453 AD

Constantine the Great Presenting a Model of the Constantinople to the Blessed Virgin Mary, ca. 1000

In the 4th century, power shifted from Rome to the Greek-speaking East, centered in the Christian city of Constantinople, on the site of old Byzantium (now Istanbul). The Byzantine Empire, at its height, extended from the Western Mediterranean to Asia Minor. Believing the Imperial City should be glorified by art and architecture, the emperors made it the most opulent and envied city in the world. From envy and greed and from suspicion of Greek Orthodoxy, the Crusaders from the West broke into walled Constantinople in 1204 and half killed it; in 1453 the Ottoman Turks delivered the deathblow. By then, Byzantine scholars and artisans had brought their books, icons and skills to Italy where they inspired the early Italian Renaissance. Why was this brilliant civilization, which alone preserved the Greek and Roman heritage, condemned to obscurity in the West?

Presentation and slide show by Eleanor Sypher

Limited space available.

Please call to reserve your seat.

A $10 contribution is requested to attend the presentation
and enjoy the beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided.

Shemer Art Center
5005 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 85018
Information & Reservation (required) at 602.262.4727


Thursday, January 10, 2019 from 5 – 6:30 p.m

The Adolescence of the Early Renaissance
1250 – 1466

The Dome of the Duomo in Florence, designed and built by Brunelleschi, 1420 – 1436

In the 13th century, the rich banking families in Florence, Siena, and Padua and elsewhere fostered art and architecture to beautify their towns. The new orders of the Franciscans and the Dominicans required large churches to preach to the faithful and these churches required decorations. At first Byzantine art and architecture coming into to Italy were an impetus to creativity as were the Romanesque and Gothic styles, especially the sculpture of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano (father and son), which Giotto and Simone Martini imitated, as did the painters Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. And from there, we move to Brunelleschi, the first modern architect and founding father of the Renaissance. He and his friend, the sculptor Donatello, spent years together in Rome sketching and studying the ruins. Donatello’s “David” is the first known free-standing nude statue since antiquity. The third member these 15th century innovators is Masaccio who adopted Brunelleschi’s scientific perspective and painted his figures in light and air so that they seem to be in the round. These three are the precursors to the High Renaissance.

Presentation and slide show by Eleanor Sypher

Limited space available.

Please call to reserve your seat.

A $10 contribution is requested to attend the presentation
and enjoy the beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided.

Shemer Art Center
5005 E. Camelback Rd., Phoenix 85018
Information & Reservation (required) at 602.262.4727