Sacred Traditions and the Arts seminar

God and the Painters: The Altarpiece in the Italian Renaissance

Speaker: Professor David Ekserdjian - Professor of History of Art and Film, University of Leicester

My book The Italian Renaissance Altarpiece: Between Icon and Narrative, came out in June 2021. It is never easy to judge one’s own work, but what I think I have tried to do is to provide a species of taxonomy for Italian renaissance altarpieces and at the same time to explore who – between the patrons, the ecclesiastical authorities, and the artists – actually calls the shots.

David Ekserdjian is Professor of History of Art and Film at the University of Leicester (2004-). He was Christie’s Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford (1983-86), lecturer, Courtauld Institute of Art (1986-87), and Slade Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford (1987-91). From 1991 to 1997, he worked for Christie’s. and was Editor of Apollo from 1997 to 2004. In 2017-18, he was Slade Professor at the University of Oxford. He was a Trustee of the National Gallery from 2005 to 2013 and of Tate from 2008 to 2013, and is currently a Trustee of Sir John Soane’s Museum and of Art UK. He is the author of Correggio (1997), Parmigianino (2006), Still Life before Still Life (2018) , and most recently of The Italian Renaissance Altarpiece: Between Icon and Narrative (2021), all published by Yale University Press. He has organised or co-organised various exhibitions, including Old Master Paintings from the Thyssen-Bornemisza CollectionRoyal Academy, 1988Andrea MantegnaRoyal Academy and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1992Treasures from Budapest: European Masterpieces from Leonardo to SchieleRoyal Academy, 2010BronzeRoyal Academy, 2012Wentworth-Fitzwilliam: An English CollectionCalouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2015-16Correggio e Parmigianino: l’arte a Parma nel ‘500Scuderie del Quirinale, 2016, and Raphael, National Gallery, forthcoming April 2022. 

About the seminar series

The seminar on Sacred Traditions and the Arts is a joint venture between the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at King’s and The Courtauld. It seeks to place researchers in dialogue who are working on any aspect of the sacred and visual culture. It is open to all scholars and students who have an interest in exploring the intersections of religion and art regardless of period, geography or tradition.

Organised by Dr Scott Nethersole (The Courtauld) and Professor Ben Quash (King’s College London).

This event has passed.

10 Dec 2021

Friday 10th December, 6.30pm - 8.00pm

Free, booking essential

Lecture Theatre 1, Vernon Square


A book cover for The Italian Renaissance Alterpiece showing an example of an alterpiece