Frances G. Harpst Center for Catholic Thought and Culture

Drop Shadow

Blessed and Beautiful: Picturing the Saints in Italian Renaissance Art

Blessed and Beautiful Event

Robert Kiely, PhD, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English, Emeritus at Harvard University

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 from 6:00-7:45 p.m.

Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice Theatre

With a reception to follow KIPJ Rooms C+D

Join us as Robert Kiely, a distinguished scholar of modernist literature and a historian and critic of exceptional sensibility, discusses his latest book, Blessed and Beautiful: Picturing the Saints.This book offers a powerful and searching meditation on the lives of the saints and the images of them painted by Renaissance artists in Italy.

Through word and image, Professor Kiely will share with us his researches into how renaissance artists in Italy went about reflecting in and refracting through their works the lives, legends and meaning drawn from traditions surrounding Saints Francis of Assisi, Mary Magdalene, the lesser known Louis of Toulouse and Mary the Mother of Jesus. Professor Kiely will then unpack the theological meaning behind these great works and speak of their enormous and enduring impact and significance. The discussion will feature examples of the amazing art in question, offering a truly aesthetic experience.

*Free and open to the public.

This is simply one of the best books ever written about Christian art. Jonathan Wright, Catholic Herald (UK)

About Robert Kiely

Robert Kiely

Robert J. Kiely is Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Professor of English, Emeritus at Harvard University. He is a graduate of Amherst College and took his doctorate at Harvard.   He served for three years in the U.S. Naval Reserve, two years in Pearl Harbor, and one aboard the USS Coral Sea.  Professor Kiely taught courses in the Victorian, modern and postmodern novel, the English Bible, Classics of Christian Literature, and the Rhetoric of Belief.

His books include Beyond Egotism: The Fiction of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and D. H. Lawrence; Reverse Tradition: Postmodern Fictions and the Nineteenth Century Novel; and Still Learning: Spiritual Sketches from a Professor's Life.  His recent book, Blessed and Beautiful: Picturing the Saints, focuses on the relationship between writings by and about saints and their depictions in Italian Renaissance art. Professor Kiely is a Benedictine Oblate and a member of the Community of Sant' Egidio, founded in Rome in 1968.