This lecture explores the complex, subtle and multifaceted process of the visual and material construction of Avignon as ‘new Rome’, and its broader historical and cultural context. In so doing it demonstrates that the papal fashioning of Avignon in relation to the Eternal City went hand in hand with a new visual construction of the ‘old’ Rome. It further contends that it is only by taking an internationalist approach to Avignonese art, seeing it in the wider context of what was being commissioned in Rome at the time, that the current debates and interpretations can best be revised in such a way as to shed new light on artistic patronage both in Provence and in Rome.
Claudia Bolgia is Professor of Medieval Art History at the University of Udine. She is author of Reclaiming the Roman Capitol. Santa Maria in Aracoeli from the Altar of Augustus to the Franciscans, c. 500-1450 (London-New York 2017), and co-editor, with Rosamond McKitterick and John Osborne, of Rome across Time and Space: Cultural Translation and the Exchange of Ideas, c. 500-1400 (Cambridge, CUP, 2011). Her research has attracted major Fellowships at leading research centres, including Pembroke College, University of Cambridge (2003-2007), Villa I Tatti (2009–10), CASVA (2016–17), the Newberry Library (2016–17), and the Leverhulme Trust (2017–18). She has written extensively on medieval Rome, particularly on the role that movements of artists and patrons played in the transmission of artistic and architectural ideas. She now writes extensively on general issues of devotional, liturgical and civic space and the visual arts in the Middle Ages.
Please note that after the lecture, over a drink in the entrance hall, we will take some time to celebrate the new book by our Honorary Fellow Professor John Osborne, Rome in the Ninth Century, which will be on display for the occasion.
The event will be both in-person and online. Register to attend online!