A Beautiful Darkness: Rivalry, Competition, and Madness in Renaissance Florence

A lecture by Stephanie Azzarello


The Renaissance was a time of profound creativity—a period when artists were responding to the renewed interest in the ideas and history of Classical Antiquity, age of artistic enlightenment.   

But for all its light and luminescence, the Renaissance was also marked by competition, rivalry, and scandal. In this talk, we will explore the ‘dark’ side of the Renaissance by investigating the lesser-known stories of famous painters and sculptors who went to extraordinary lengths to secure commissions and make a name for themselves in Florence and beyond.



Dr Stephanie Azzarello received her PhD from the University of Cambridge (2021) and specialises in the art of Quattrocento Venice. She is currently a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow at the Kunsthistorisches Institute in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut working on a new project that focuses on the depictions of Jews, Muslims, and Africans in Florentine illuminated manuscripts. 


If you are in Florence and would like to attend the lecture in person at the British Institute Library, please register here or send an email to bif@britishinstitute.it

Please note, only people with confirmed registrations can attend the lecture in person. The registration fee is 10 Euro per person.

All participants are invited to wear a mask throughout the event. 


To join this  lecture with Zoom (no reservation necessary), click on this link to open the online lecture: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89294835969?pwd=aE9JNEcrbHdvVExGR3FOOElMZ3JYdz09 at 18:00 on Wednesday 19th October. 


A recording of the virtual lecture will be published on our YouTube channel. Clicking on the link above, you authorise the British Institute of Florence to use your image, name and comments.
There is no charge to attend the event on Zoom, but we ask you to consider making a donation to support the Institute and its beautiful library if you wish to attend an event.