Discovering the Italian Trecento in the 19th Century

Discovering the Italian Trecento in the 19th Century

A Love Affair with 14th-Century Italy

Date and time

Friday 1 March, 10.30am–5pm

Past conference

Day One

Hear from a panel of speakers at the National Gallery on themes ranging from the historic interpretation of the trecento in the 19th century to the impact it had on artists and collectors of the period.

This event forms part of a two-day conference at the National Gallery and Wallace Collection which focuses on the ‘discovery’ of late medieval and early Renaissance Italy – the age of writers Dante and Petrarch and the painter Giotto.

Find out more about Day Two, hosted by the Wallace Collection.


Day One: Programme



Introduction: Dr John Law, Swansea University

Welcome to the National Gallery: Dr Susanna Avery-Quash, National Gallery, London


Key Note Address: '"Endowing a fresh nation with possessions of beauty": Italian Trecento literature in 19th-century Britain' – Professor Martin McLaughlin, University of Oxford

 Artistic Responses to Trecento Art in 19th-century Europe


 '"Les veritables origines de la renaissance": the re-discovery of the medieval tradition in French sculpture in the last quarter of the 19th century' – Dr Laura Lombardi, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan


'The English Pre-Raphaelites' – Professor Elizabeth Prettejohn, University of York


'A problematic attraction: French artists and the primitive' – Dr Kathy McLauchlan, Victoria and Albert Museum and Morley College, London




End of morning session and lunch break (lunch not provided)

Collecting Trecento Art in the 19th Century, with a Special Focus on Britain


'The fate of the Manetti Chapel, Florence: a case study of an emerging interest in Trecento art in Britain at the turn of the 19th century' – Professor Sam Smiles, University of Exeter


'Thomas Gambier Parry as a collector of early Italian art' – Dr Caroline Campbell, National Gallery, London, and Dr Alexandra Gerstein, Courtauld Gallery, London


'Prince Albert and Trecento Italian art: his private picture collection and efforts to promote public interest in early Italian Art' – Dr Susanna Avery-Quash, National Gallery, London




"'An admirable connoisseur': Charles Fairfax Murray and the representation of the Sienese school in the National Gallery under Sir Frederic Burton" – Dr Paul Tucker, University of Florence


'Giovanni Costa, Italian Pre-Raphaelitism and the rediscovery of the Trecento in Umbria' – Dr Giuliana Pieri, Royal Holloway College, University of London




End of Conference Day One


Don't forget to join us at 6pm in Room 60 of the National Gallery for a free complementary concert celebrating the trecento, performed by students from the Royal Academy of Music.

The concert is open to the general public and places are available on a first-come, first-served basis. We strongly recommend that you arrive early to guarantee a place.

Image above: Detail from Duccio, The Virgin and Child with Saints Dominic and Aurea,
about 1312-15 (?)

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