SACI President Emeritus, Mary Beckinsale, lectures on origins of Florentine florin coin, June 22, 2017 for Festa Cultura San Giovanni


6th Annual Festa della Cultura San Giovanni Battista

June 15-25, 2017 – Florence, Italy

The Festival of Culture San Giovanni Battista is an interdisciplinary arts festival that unites the citizens of Florence and tourists in the spirit of creative and spiritual dialogue. It offers events in unique locations around the city and supports artistic initiatives in a common spirit of appreciation for all artistic expressions.

This year’s program includes two exhibitions, five concerts, two Sante Messe, three art workshops, an interdisciplinary conference and a guided tour. The theme of peace is embodied and is achieved in the first world of an “Agnus Dei” specially made for the occasion.

See the website for details and full calendar of events.

Interdiciplinary Conference and Concert

June 22, 2017 at 5pm

Palazzo Rosselli del Turco – European School of Economics
Borgo Santi Apostoli, 19 – Florence, Italy

“il Fiorino d’Oro” – Mary Beckinsale, Art Historian and SACI President Emeritus
“San Giovanni eburneo”  –  Bettina Schindler, Restorer
Ritorno a Casa: la storia della camera Borgherini

Artist: Alessandro Vannini
Moderator: John Hoenig
Musician: Elisa Malatesti 

il Fiorino d’Oro
Mary Beckinsale

Mary Beckinsale

Mary Beckinsale

This lecture outlines the origins of the Florentine coin “the golden florin” of 1252 and examines the impact of the originality of the Florentine Republic’s decision to mint a standard currency. The visual iconography of the coin as well as its future economic and social importance in Florence over time is also explored, placing the ‘fiorino d’oro’ in a much broader historic context. Lecture in English.

Mary Beckinsale studied art history at Cambridge University and at the Warburg Institute in London. She has taught and lectured for many years while serving as Director and then President of Studio Arts College International of Florence before retiring in 2013. She has worked on a range of different periods in cultural history from Renaissance to Modern with a strong focus on iconography as well as the social background of works of art.

ivory-iconSan Giovanni eburneo
Bettina Schindler
The “Capsella Samagher” from the 5th century, as one of the rare ivory carved expressions of the time, is one of the few conserved results of the Edict of Theodosius of 395 AC. The Agnus Dei representation introduces the representations of Saint John, followed by late empire, medieval and gothic ivories where the reading of his presence is possible in the Stories of Jesus. Finally, after the Renaissance, the human being in the center of the attention, he is carved in ivory as a child, together with Mary and Jesus, then as the adult during the Crucifiction and the mourning during the Deposition from the Cross.  Peculiar aspects during various epoques considering also conservation and restoration will be explained by a technician, more than an art historian.

About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

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