Join Auckland Art Gallery’s Senior Curator Mary Kisler as each week she explores Florentine life through Renaissance and Baroque artworks in The Corsini Collection

The University of Auckland Continuing Education has partnered with Auckland Art Gallery to provide a unique perspective on the upcoming exhibition The Corsini Collection: A Window on Renaissance Florence opening at Auckland Art Gallery on September 2.

Led by Auckland Art Gallery’s Senior Curator Mary Kisler, the course will take participants on an in-depth journey into Renaissance art and ideas drawing on the Corsini’s remarkable collection including masterpieces by Botticelli, Caravaggio, Pontormo and Rigaud. Participants will have the opportunity to experience the history of an extraordinary family, who turned their love and passion for art into a true vocation. This is the first time the collection has travelled outside of Italy.

Course outline

Session 1: Setting the Scene – The city of Florence, its history and its people

Through the eyes of the Corsini family, this lecture will provide an overview of the city of Florence, the leading families of the time, and in particular the Medici, encapsulated within the world view of the time.

Session 2: The Corsini family across time

The history of the Corsini family; their rise to fame, spiritually, politically and socially, on both the local and broader European stage. Although they began their relationship with Florence in discreet dwellings in Oltrano in the 14th century, they went on to build the only Baroque palace in the city, serving as a magnificent backdrop to an art collection that still remains today.

Session 3: The Collection

This final lecture will focus on the history of the collection, providing insights into some of the major works coming to Auckland, including original paintings by Botticelli and Caravaggio, as well as introducing a number of Italian artists less familiar to New Zealand audiences. This lecture will also consider the role of the Corsini family today, and the lengths the family were prepared to go to protect and retain what is now the only private collection of art in Florence.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this course participants will be able to:
  • Provide an overview of the history and culture that lies behind the exhibition The Corsini Collection: A Window on Renaissance Florence.
  • Demonstrate the ability to approach works in the exhibition informed by the background regarding the religious, political, social and familial mores of the period
  • Critically review art of the period and the society in which it was produced.
  • Expand the introduction provided in the lectures with ongoing research of their own.

Who should attend?

This course is designed for those with an interest in Italian history, art and culture from the early Renaissance to the end of the 18th Century.

About the Presenter

mary-kisler-profileMary Kisler is Senior Curator, Mackelvie Collection, International Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, responsible for a collection ranging from the 13th to the mid-20th centuries. Since 1998 she has curated a wide range of international historical and modern exhibitions at the Gallery.

She has published on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Mary Kisler, Ludovica Sebregondi, Emma Jameson. The Corsini Collection: A Window on Renaissance Florence, Auckland Art Gallery, 2017
  • Angels & Aristocrats: Early European Art in New Zealand Public Collections, Godwit, Random House, 2010
  • The Peter Tomory Archive’, in Reading Room: A Journal of Art and Culture, no. 3, 2009, pp. 154-163
  • ‘Guido Reni – St Sebastian’, in The Agony and the Ecstasy –Guido Reni’s St Sebastians, eds Piero Boccardo and Xavier F Salomon, Silvana Editoriale; 2007

For twelve years she was involved in monthly art discussions with acclaimed NZ interviewer Kim Hill on Radio New Zealand’s Saturday Morning programme, and has led a number of art tours to Europe and Australia.

From April to the end of June, 2016 she held the position of Craig Hugh Smyth Fellow at the Harvard Centre for Renaissance Art, Villa I Tatti, Florence, researching Italian works in New Zealand public collections.

More information…

Auckland Art Gallery Members receive a special discount on this course. please contact the Auckland Art Gallery Membership team to receive your discount code.

Your $190.00 registration to this course includes a one year membership at Auckland Art Gallery and a signed copy of the exhibition catalogue.

Membership benefits include:

  • FREE unlimited entry to paid exhibitions
  • Exclusive exhibition previews
  • Members Lounge access
  • Invitations to regular talks or behind-the-scenes tours
  • Regular enewsletters
  • $12.50 movie and $15.50 3D tickets1 at Rialto Cinemas Newmarket including Friday and Saturday nights
  • 50% discount off Reading Room: A Journal of Art and Culture
  • 10% discount off food and beverage at our Mojo café 
  • 10% discount at our shop 2
  • 10% discount off venue hire at the Gallery
  • Enjoy complimentary access to the Australian National Maritime Museum and a 10% discount in their gift shop upon presentation of your valid membership card and a form of ID (drivers licence, passport, credit card etc.)
  1. Excludes Beyond Film, alternate content, film festivals, special events and screenings
  2. Excludes sales and promotions. Discount not currently available online
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