Art and Nature in Medieval and Renaissance Art

Rooms allotted for this seminar have been filled. To join the waiting list, or register as a commuter, please contact the Assistant Director at 920-839-2216 or 


Inspired by the rich natural setting of Björklunden, this course will look at how Medieval and Renaissance artists explored the natural world through their art. We will consider the idea of the natural world as a product of divine creation and see how medieval artists represented nature as shot through with spiritual meaning. We will also trace the development of greater naturalism in later Medieval and Renaissance art, presaging the habits of careful observation that serve as the foundation for the scientific revolution. Medieval and Renaissance art not only depicts the natural world, but also is literally made from it, using materials harvested from nature; we will discuss how the material origins of artworks also shaped their meanings.

Ben Tilghman ‘99 specializes in Medieval and Renaissance Art, particularly illuminated manuscripts and art from the early medieval British Isles. A graduate of Lawrence University, Tilghman earned his master’s degree from Williams College and his PhD from Johns Hopkins University. He has published essays on the Book of Kells, Anglo-Saxon riddles and art, miniature drawings in a Renaissance prayerbook, and the 21st century manuscript known as the Saint John’s Bible. As a curatorial fellow at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, he organized exhibitions on medieval manuscripts, miniaturization in art, and images from the Hubble Space Telescope. He joined the Lawrence Faculty in 2012.

Ryan Gregg is assistant professor of art history at Webster University in St. Louis, where he teaches Renaissance and Baroque art.  His specialization lies in views of cities and Italian art of the mid-16th century.  He has written and spoken on a variety of topics in these areas, including city view techniques among Flemish artists, the decoration of Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, Renaissance sculpture’s Baroque reception and prints of the 16th and 17th centuries.  He is the recipient of numerous research fellowships and regularly leads students on study trips to Florence.


Sunday, July 30, 2017 to Friday, August 4, 2017
$840 double; $1,120 single; $415 commuter
Art & Art History

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