Review: Nick Ross

Category: Speakers, General, Academic

The History of Art Society was very happy to welcome Nick Ross, Director of Art History Abroad, to the College on Friday 2nd February.

A lecturer and guide of over thirty years' experience, not many visitors to Marlborough have had such regular and intimate exposure to Italian artistic culture, especially that of Renaissance Florence. Nick's theme for the evening was 'Love and Marriage in Renaissance Florence', but he approached his material from an anthropological perspective, interrogating the paintings of the fifteenth century as cultural memories, records of mentalities and worldviews representative of their period. This led us into interesting avenues concerning church ritual, the legal conditions of marriage, and the social expectations placed upon betrothed couples. These general thoughts gave way to precise and pinpoint analyses of some key Quattrocento works, principally by Botticelli, that visual poet and philosopher of love. The insights were fresh, sharp, controversial, and personal, and left everyone with a feeling that they had encountered familiar works afresh - testimony to Nick's powers of analysis, but also of the paintings' capacity for polyvalent reading.

Review by Lydia Dickens (NC U6)

<- Back to: Speakers