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St Mary's Academic to Deliver Lecture at National Gallery

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Senior Lecturer in History at St Mary’s University, Twickenham Dr Claire Norton will deliver a lecture in London’s prestigious National Gallery next week on the Ottomans’ role in the Renaissance. Her lecture Renaissance Ottomans: A Shared Graeco-Roman Artistic Heritage will call for a broader definition of the Renaissance beyond being a purely Western European movement. It is often claimed that there was an 'iron curtain' that bisected the early modern Mediterranean and that the Ottoman Empire was in effect isolated from, or immune to, the cultural and technological innovations that occurred throughout Western Europe during the Renaissance. Dr Norton will argue that this is too narrow a focus as it fails to recognise cross-cultural influences between peoples throughout the wider Mediterranean World. Her research has revealed that the Ottoman's close commercial, political, and military links with different Christian European states encouraged their participation in Renaissance art, architecture and humanist learning. In particular, the Ottomans’ shared interest in Graeco-Roman civilisation was a key influence in shaping what we now recognise as ‘the Renaissance’. The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world including key Renaissance works of arts including Da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks and Botticelli’s Mars and Venus. Every month it hosts a range of free lunchtime talks for which focus on its artworks or explore wider themes in the Gallery’s collection. This series of lectures will examine the Renaissance beyond the geographical parameters of the Gallery's collection. Dr Norton has recently co-edited a book entitled The Renaissance and the Ottoman World (Ashgate, 2013). The lecture is free and open to the public, starting at 1pm on Monday 27th July, More information can be found here.
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