For the majority of Christians, Advent is a season of preparation for the birth of Christ – the lead up to Christmas. But theologically it also heralds the Second Coming, and it was traditional for sermons on the Four Sundays of Advent to be about the Four Last Things – Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. All four will be covered in this talk, although, coming as it does after the second Sunday, the focus will be on Judgement – and specifically the Last Judgement painted by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua.
Following on from Dr Richard Stemp's discussion of Giotto’s paintings of the Easter story in the same chapel back in April, this talk will explore how the image of the Last Judgement is fundamental for the understanding of the decoration as a whole, and to the way in which the paintings are arranged. We will also look at some other paintings of the Last Judgement, to see how much they draw on – or differ from – Giotto’s influential depiction.
Richard graduated from Clare College, Cambridge with a degree in Natural Sciences and the History of Art, and returned to complete a PhD on Sculpture in Ferrara in the Fifteenth Century. After a year at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts he has shared his time between art and acting. He has lectured at the National Gallery for over 25 years, and has also worked on a regular basis at Tates Modern and Britain, the Wallace Collection, Buckingham Palace, and the V&A. As well as lecturing for numerous art societies around Britain, he also teaches on-site across Europe with Art History Abroad. His books include The Secret Language of the Renaissance and Churches and Cathedrals, and he has written and presented two series for Channel Four, Art in the National Gallery and Tate Modern, as well as making guest appearances on programmes as diverse as Terry Jones’ Medieval Lives and CBBC’s X-Change