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The Sydney J. Freedberg Lecture on Italian Art: Andrea Mantegna’s Stones, Caves, and Clouds

Gabriele Finaldi, director, National Gallery, London

In his lecture, presented on December 8, 2019, Gabriele Finaldi of the National Gallery, London, discusses Mantegna's particular universe as constructed in stone: carved, cut, polished, and sometimes invented. In his compelling imaginarium, the ancient world is a severe construct of marble, alabaster, and porphyry. He juxtaposes sculpted stone with flesh, creating potent dualities of ancient and modern, eternal and transient, dead and alive. In the skies of his paintings, clouds take on mysterious forms, sometimes rocklike, that want to insinuate themselves into his narratives. This lecture explores how the realms of nature, art, and antiquity are fused into the unique vision of Mantegna's Renaissance world.