i Fra Carnevale, The Birth of the Virgin, 1467, tempera and oil on wood, Rogers and Gwynne Andrews Funds, 1935, The Metropolitan Museum, New York. Image: metmuseum.org

NEW – Intersecting Practices: Architecture and the Figurative Arts in Early Modern Italy


Dr Livia Lupi

5 pre-recorded lectures and 5 Zoom seminars over 5 weeks at 18:00, and where necessary, also at 19:30 [London time], from Monday 6 January to Monday 3 February 2025, with an optional course visit on Saturday 8 February 2025
£195 or £245 with visit

Course description

Why did artists include prominent architectural settings in their paintings and relief sculptures? Why did they labour over highly innovative structural solutions? Why did they endeavour to design original ornamental motifs which brought together sculptural, painterly, and architectural approaches, as well as showcasing their understanding of materiality?

This course explores the intersection of art and architectural practice. Although scholarship tends to treat architecture and the visual arts as separate, the two practices were interconnected, with many artists moving fluidly between painting, sculpture and building projects – most famously of all Giotto and Michelangelo.

Examining the work of key figures as much as considering lesser-known craftsmen, this course highlights the architectural imagination of artists and their contribution to architectural practice at a historical juncture that saw the emergence of the architect as a new professional figure. Reflecting on the social reverberations of this process, the course underscores architectural forms as a kind of cultural currency whose ascendancy intersected with the reinvention of antiquity. While the focus is on Italy, seminars on Northern European and Byzantine art will broaden the scope, giving an insight into exchanges across art and architecture as an international phenomenon. This course offers an optional Saturday visit to the Sir John Soane’s Museum.


Lecturer's biography

Dr Livia Lupi holds a PhD from the University of York (2016) and is currently a Leverhulme Trust research fellow at the University of Warwick. Livia works on the intersection of art and architectural practice in late medieval and early modern Europe, with a particular focus on Italy. She has published peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on this topic and her book, Painting Architecture in Early Renaissance Italy, is in production with Harvey Miller, Brepols. Livia also collaborated with the National Gallery on two major exhibitions (2017 and 2020) and is currently designing and writing a digital exhibition for the Sir John Soane’s Museum.