Last Supper, 1316-20. Pomposa, Abbey. Refrectory fresco.

Seminars, Schools and Summer Series

Early Italian Art 1250–1400: Little-Known Fresco Cycles in Depth from Pomposa to Trento

  • Friday 6 September 2019
  • Sarah Fell Room, Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London NW1 2BJ
  • Lecturer: Clare Ford-Wille

During the summer of 2019 we are offering a series of linked but separate study days on Early Italian Art from 1250 to 1400. Each day can be booked individually. We also intend to include some small group visits to the V&A and the National Gallery. These will be organised separately and subject to demand.

This series will examine the revolutionary developments in Italian art from around 1250 to the end of the fourteenth century. It will explore how the cities of central Italy, at that time among the richest and most dynamic in all Europe, provided the nurturing environment in which the arts could flourish.


Programme for Day 6

Italian Art 1250–1400:  Little-Known Fresco Cycles in Depth from Pomposa to Trento

This will be an opportunity to explore and analyse a number of little-known fresco cycles of the fourteenth century. Pomposa was once a thriving abbey in the Po Delta, important for the development of music notation. All that is left is the abbey church and magnificent bell tower, but the church is covered with frescoes. In Padua the visitor has tended to focus upon the work of Giotto, but there are fresco cycles throughout the city by Giusto da Menabuoi and Altichiero which have not been so extensively studied. As the fourteenth century ends and the fifteenth century begins the Salimbeni Brothers begin work in a small confraternity chapel in Urbino and painters of rare secular scenes begin work in the mountainous areas of Northern Italy in La Manta and Trento.


  1. The Abbey of Pomposa
  2. Fresco Cycles in Padua:Giusto da Menabuoi
  3. Fresco Cycles in Padua: Altichiero and Avanzo
  4. La Manta and the Room of the Seasons in Trento



Clare Ford-Wille is an independent art historian, well known to members for her courses at Birkbeck and Morley College as well as a lecturer at the National Gallery, the V&A and The Arts Society groups in Britain and Europe. She has led many tours abroad. Clare is a Vice President of The London Art History Society.

Members only

Places available

Book places