Renaissance Art of Dominican and Franciscan Orders

Exhibition on Renaissance Art of Dominican and Franciscan Orders at Frist Center


Sassetta. The Procession to Calvary, 1437–44. Detroit Institute of Arts

Around the beginning of the 13th century, two religious orders emerged in Italy: the Dominican order, founded by Saint Dominic of Caleruega (1170–1221), and the Franciscan order, founded by Saint Francis of Assisi (1181 or 1182–1226). The two orders differentiated themselves from the preexistent ones by taking part in the nascent urban life of Italy. Instead of secluding themselves in rural monasteries, Dominicans and Franciscans preached, often as mendicants, to the habitants of growing cities. The two orders soon built churches of great size and pomp, churches whose frescos, alterpieces and other liturgical objects exemplified the splendor of Italian Renaissance art. Since October 31, 2014, the Frist Center in Nashville, Tennessee, has been holding an exhibition on this subject. The exhibition, titled “Sanctity Pictured: The Art of the Dominican and Franciscan Orders in Renaissance Italy,” will continue until January 25, 2015.

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