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Virtual: ‘The Designs of Nature: Form, Matter, and the Making of Art in Early Modern Europe’

March 22, 2021 at 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Join the Bettie Allison Rand Lectures in Art History series with Rebecca Zorach beginning on March 22 at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the idea of the agency and creativity of a sometimes personified “Nature” in late medieval and early modern Europe. 

Often seeming to operate with surprising independence from the Christian God, Nature was understood as both a creator of artists and a powerful generator of images that served as inspiration to those same artists. The series of lectures traces a set of ideas that shaped the work of artists and art theorists, scientists and theologians in both northern and southern Europe, looking especially closely at the problem of “figured stones”: stones (some fossils, some not) that seemed to bear mysterious images “made by Nature.” The lectures touch on paintings by Botticelli, Filippino Lippi, and Andrea Mantegna, along with garden sculptures, architectural ornament, and scientific illustration. The series will occur weekly through April 15. Find the dates, topics, and registration for this four-week lecture series here

Rebecca Zorach is the Mary Jane Crowe Professor in Art and Art History at Northwestern University. Her work focuses on early modern European art, contemporary and activist art. Zorach won the 2006 Gustave O. Arlt Award from the Council of Graduate Schools and the 2005 book prize from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women for her book Blood, Milk, Ink, Gold: Abundance and Excess in the French Renaissance.