Fra Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico – the two monastic painters

Course Dates: 08/10/24
Time: 13:30 - 15:30
Location: Online
Join us for a close reading of the works of Fra Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico, two of 15th century Italy's most influential artists. We study their techniques, their subject matter and how they communicated narratives in painting. Explore all the wonderful tactile visual details they added to the works.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
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Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
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Fra Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico – the two monastic painters
  • Course Code: VB962
  • Dates: 08/10/24 - 08/10/24
  • Time: 13:30 - 15:30
  • Taught: Tue, Daytime
  • Duration: 1 session
  • Location: Online
  • Tutor: Emma Rose Barber

Course Code: VB962

Choose a start date  

Tue, day, 08 Oct - 08 Oct '24

Duration: 1 session

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

Fra Angelico (c. 1395-1400) and Fra Filippo Lippi (c. 1406-146) contemporary painters of Florence, both contributed enormously to the rich artistic tradition of the Italian Renaissance. Fra Angelico, a Dominican friar was a fresco, egg tempera painter and illuminator who had the largest painting workshop in Florence by 1430. In all this busyness, he also made time to paint the friars’ cells in the convent of San Marco in Florence, funded by Cosimo de’Medici. They say that he was imbued with a deep spirituality. Conversely, Lippi, the Carmelite monk is stereotyped as the ‘naughty’ one who got a nun pregnant and escaped with her, the temptations of the flesh being just too overpowering. Luckily for us, she did become a model for some of his exceptional and exquisite images of the Madonna and Child. We will look at the life and art of these two painters and ask ourselves if these well-known narratives about them are at all fair. Or do they make a good story?

Study a selection of egg tempera and fresco paintings by both artists and consider whether there is anything to their biographical reputations which have become legendary thanks to Giorgio Vasari and his Lives of the Artists (1550), in which he casts Angelico as angelic and Lippi as ‘lusty’. Through a close reading of their works, we will study their techniques, their subject matter, how they communicated the narratives they were painting and all the wonderful tactile visual details they added to the works.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• A consideration of whether artists’ biography matters when studying art
• A close reading of a selection of images by both artists
• Explore points of similarity and difference in their works.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Form a view on whether you think the biography of an artist is important when looking at their work
• Identify styles and artistic processes of two artists
• Learn to speak with confidence about two painters of the Italian Renaissance.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for all levels.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught online with lecture and slide presentations. You will be invited to participate in group discussion and ask questions during the session.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You might wish to purchase a notebook for taking notes. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list provided.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Search our lunchtime lectures or Friday Lates series for more introductions to the diversity of art history.

Emma Rose Barber

Emma Rose Barber is an art historian who has been teaching adults for over 25 years. She specialises in the visual culture of the Middle Ages and the Italian and Northern Renaissance. She has also taught classes on British art and has designed many different courses such as Last Suppers in Florence and Bosch, Breughel and the Surrealists. She has also given lectures on Women and Art. She used to run the history of art department at the British Institute in Florence and works for many institutions such as the Open University, Morley College and the department of continuing education at the University of Oxford. Her book – 111 Churches that you Shouldn’t Miss in London - is coming out in the autumn of 2020. She has spent the last five years with a Mini A-Z looking for churches to write about, many of which can be found on her blog – She is also writing a Cultural History of Wayfaring and writes articles for Selvedge Magazine.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.