Art in the Making Lectures

Thursday, January 10, 2019

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

The Early Renaissance started in the 13th Century, when rich banking families were fostering art and architecture to beautify their towns. It was also during this time that the first modern architect and founding father of the Renaissance, Brunelleschi, was active.  Brunelleschi sketched and studied in Rome with his friend, Donatello, whose “David” was the first free-standing nude statue since antiquity.  The third great innovator of the 15th century was Masaccio, who painted his figures as though in the round.  During this lecture we will also meet Alberti, the first, real Renaissance man.

Presentation and slide show by Eleanor Sypher, PhD

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, February 21, 2019

5 – 6:30 p.m

The Early Italian Renaissance
1450 – 1500

Portrait of Federico da Montefeltro and his Wife Battista Sforza by Piero della Francesca, 1465-66, Uffizi

Inspired by the founding fathers of the Renaissance (Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Masaccio), the artists of this period expand their repertoire to include classical mythological and architectural motifs, portraits, and historical scenes, alongside the religious images. These artists include Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Giorgione, Mantegna, Piero della Francesca, and Uccello.—

They will be placed in context through a consideration of the mercantile Italian city states, the explorations of the new world of the Americas by Amerigo Vespucci and Giovanni Verrazzano, the social status of the artist, the Medicis– Cosimo I and Lorenzo the Magnificent, humanism, Savonarola’s bonfire of the vanities, patronage, and the printing press.

Presentation and slide show by Eleanor Sypher, PhD

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, March 21, 2019

5 – 6:30 p.m

The Italian Renaissance
1500 – 1550

Madonna of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci, 1483-1506, oil on panel, transferred to canvas, Louvre, Paris

In these 50 years, the riches in Rome and the Papacy, in Venice, Mantua and Florence, and the discriminating “eye” and desire for self-promotion among the rulers of those cities promoted astonishing artistic output. The artists include Leonardo da Vinci–the most wide-ranging genius in the history of Western art, Michelangelo–premier painter, sculptor, and architect, and Raphael whose paintings epitomized what has come to be known as the High Renaissance Style.

The influence of Castiglione’s The Courtier (pub. 1528) set the standard for gentlemanly behavior–never be tedious–for centuries. Vasari’s Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (pub. 1550) is still the among the most influential critical histories of art.

In 1527, the sack of Rome, carried out by the mutinous, largely Protestant, and unpaid troops of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, left the city devastated, gutted, and impoverished. As a result of this frenzied pillage, the Roman Renaissance came to an end.

Presentation and slide show by Eleanor Sypher, PhD

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, April 18, 2019

5 – 6:30 p.m

The Late Italian Renaissance
1550 – 1600

Self-Portrait by Titian, 1562-64, oil on canvas, Staatliche Museen, Berlin

In the final decades of the 16th century, Titian dominated painting in Venice and Northern Italy through his influence on Tintoretto and Veronese and the Carraccis; and, after his death, on the great masters Rubens and Velasquez.

The architect Palladio through his classicizing villas in Northern Italy and through the publication of his Four Books of Architecture (1570) assured his fame and revival throughout Europe, especially in Britain.

In response to the rise of Protestantism, The Counter-Reformation of the Catholic Church (1545-1648), intended to preserve Catholic doctrine. It proclaimed that painting and sculpture should convey Catholic theology and that any work arousing carnal desire was inadmissible in churches, as were any inclusion of classical pagan stories. The Baroque Style, beginning in Rome ca. 1600, follows Renaissance Style and lasts until the mid-1700s. The Catholic Church encouraged this style’s flamboyance as a counter to the austerity of Protestant churches.

Presentation and slide show by Eleanor Sypher, PhD

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