Dennis Geronimus, Associate Professor of Italian Renaissance Art and Chair, Department of Art History, NYU
Occasioned by the first-ever museum exhibition of Piero di Cosimo’s (1462-1522) painting career, now on view at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, this talk will introduce us to the most spellbinding storyteller of Renaissance Florence. A contemporary of Botticelli and Leonardo, Piero was esteemed in his day as a creative spirit of rare imagination, his visual poems rivaling the verses of the ancient poets whose myths and allegories he set out to transform in a wonderfully strange language all his own. As his impressive list of patrons attests, Piero used his creative license to great advantage, devising elaborate fables the meanings of which continue to beguile us. But fantasy was not Piero’s only domain. Equally compelling was his versatility as a master of many different styles, moods and subjects, sacred and profane. The common thread throughout is Piero’s appeal to magical thinking.