Painting on Stone Surfaces in 16th-Century Europe: The How and the Why

Rienzi Fall Lecture | Painting on Stone Surfaces in 16th-Century Europe: The How and the Why

Speaker: Judith Mann, curator of European art to 1800, Saint Louis Art Museum

Earlier this year, the Saint Louis Art Museum presented Paintings on Stone: Science and the Sacred 1530–1800. The exhibition examined the art of painting on stone surfaces, a practice that flourished in Europe, particularly Italy, during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Tracing the development of painting on stone, this lecture highlights the creative and exciting ways artists have incorporated stone into their painted compositions. Originally appreciated for its durability, stone became prized for its varied pictorial qualities, including the dark surface of slate that enhances night scenes and the alabaster whorls that emulate effects of heavenly apparitions. Most important, the use of stone enhances the meaning of an image, including ideas about the Christian church.

Plan Your Visit This program is included with general admission. Seating is first come, first served in Lynn Wyatt Theater, located in the Kinder Building on the MFAH main campus. On Sundays, the MFAH is open 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Explore More The Nativity, by Bartolomé Estebán Murillo, is from the collection at Rienzi, the MFAH house museum for European decorative arts.

Safety Guidelines In the interest of your personal safety and community health, please observe all precautions set forth by the MFAH—learn more here.


Education programs at Rienzi receive generous funding from the Sterling-Turner Foundation; Alkek and Williams Foundation; Carroll Sterling and Harris Masterson III Endowment; and the Caroline Wiess Law Endowment for Rienzi.


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