Campus News Society & Culture

Lamar Dodd School of Art lecture brings Benedictine cloister frescoes to light

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Lamar Dodd School of Art brings to campus Anne Leader to discuss her research into a 15th-century fresco cycle depicting the life of St. Benedict. Leader, a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, is the author of The Badia of Florence: Art and Observance in a Renaissance Monastery, which will be published by the Indiana University Press in early 2011. The lecture, part of the Visual Culture Colloquium series, will be held on Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. in room S150 of the art school. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.

Established in fall of 2008, the Visual Culture Colloquium brings together under one rubric lectures given at the art school that adopt a scholarly approach to the field of art history.

Leader’s talk will focus on the fresco cycle that adorns the second story of the so-called “Orange Cloister” of the Florentine Badia, a wealthy Benedictine monastery and one of four Italian monasteries to initiate a Reform Congregation in 1419. The frescoes that decorate the Badia’s cloister, painted between 1435 and 1439, served as a means to define what it meant to be Benedictine. Prior to the fourteenth century, St. Benedict’s life was rarely illustrated except in illuminated manuscripts or on column capitals. Large-scale narrative frescoes began to appear on the walls of sacristies and refectories in the fourteenth century, but the Badia contains the earliest surviving example in a cloister.

“The Badia frescoes are some of the most important, interesting and little-known artworks from the Renaissance,” said Isabelle Wallace, associate professor of art history in the art school. “Anne Leader is a highly regarded art historian and we are glad to be able to invite her campus.”

This lecture was made possible through the generous support of the Lila Wallace – Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund at Villa I Tatti.

The Lamar Dodd School of Art is located at 270 River Road on the UGA campus; Room S150 is located on the first floor of the building. For further information, see