National Gallery of Art Lecture by Prof. Al Acres

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Renaissance Invention and the Haunted Infancy by Al Acres, associate professor of art

January 25 at 2:00
West Building Lecture Hall
Free and open to the public.

Countless Renaissance images of Christ’s infancy allude either to his sacrifice or to evil, and sometimes to both. Each represents a kind of absence at the moment pictured: the ultimate death of the infant and an intangible menace resisted by his coming. Although both occur widely in European works of the period and are familiar to modern observers of Renaissance art, they have never been systematically addressed. With some suggestions about why this might be, this lecture, based on a new book, will examine the extraordinary variety of ways in which artists sought to convey these related ideas. In the challenge of representing two oblique presences, artists as diverse as Bosch, Botticelli, Bruegel, Gossaert, Leonardo, and Michelangelo (among many others) recognized a rich opportunity to cultivate new and deeply absorbing kinds of visual ingenuity.

Book signing of Renaissance Invention and the Haunted Infancy follows.

Details are available at