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#66 Reflections on the Drawings of Luca Signorelli: A Conversation with Claire van Cleave

Saturday, September 23rd Live on Zoom

10am Los Angeles and Phoenix, 1pm NY & Toronto, 6pm London, 7pm Florence

2023 marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Luca Signorelli (c. 1450-1523), the artist whom Vasari placed at the cusp of his third wave of art, as the bridge between the older style of quattrocento artists and the genius of Leonardo and Michelangelo whom he defined as the pinnacle of art.

Signorelli lived much of his life in his native Cortona, but he travelled and worked throughout central Italy from Volterra in the west to Arcevia in the east, from Cortona and Florence to Rome. His greatest work is undoubtedly the Cappella Nuova in Orvieto Cathedral where he frescoed a chapel with extraordinary figures, often nude, with stories of good and evil. These ground-breaking frescoes were admired by and influenced artists like Michelangelo and Raphael and still amaze us centuries later with their audacious depictions of the nude. His bold figure studies, normally drawn in black chalk on paper, were the creative tools with which he designed his paintings. In them we can peer into his creative process and understand how a Renaissance artist depended on drawings as the fundamental first steps in creating their masterpieces.

Dr Claire Van Cleave, originally from Chicago, is a writer and expert on Renaissance art with a specialization in Italian drawings from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. After graduating from Georgetown University, she completed her M.A. at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. This was followed by a D.Phil at the University of Oxford where her doctoral dissertation was on Luca Signorelli as a Draughsman. Major publications include Master Drawings of the Renaissance (British Museum, London, 2007), and, as co-author, Italian Master Drawings from the Princeton University Art Museum (Princeton, NJ, USA, 2014). She also curated the drawings section of the Signorelli exhibition held at the Galleria Nazionale of Umbria in 2012.


Minimum suggested donation: $20

This talk is free for Friends of Paola's Studiolo!

Look forward to seeing you on Zoom!

Warmest regards,


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