”Preparing the Way III : representing John the Baptist”

venerdì 20 giugno  10.00-16.00

The British Institute of Florence

Sala Ferragamo
Harold Acton Library
Lungarno Guicciardini 9

in Italian & English

tickets on sale at the library from 5th May

€20 full price including morning tea and buffet lunch

€15 Harold Acton library members, students & over 60s

proceeds to benefit the Cultural Programme


“Si va avanti ! - the San Giovanni Festival in Florence”
John Hoenig FRSA

founder of the San Giovanni festival, surveys the centuries-long history of the celebrations in honour of Florence’s patron saint - and previews events for this current year’s arts festival.

mercoledì 18 giugno  18.00

Cultural Programme

The British Institute of Florence
free entry to library members

The third annual interdisciplinary conference will include guest speakers Roberta Lapucci PhD, Jeremy Boudreau, MA, Penny Mittler MA, author Lisa Clifford and screenings of works by filmmaker David Battistella and musician Federico Maria Sardelli.

We are delighted that this will be held once again at the British Institute. We are most grateful to the Director, Julia Race for their patrocinio - and to all the staff for their generous ongoing support for the festival.

Roberta Lapucci PhD
Storica dell’arte e restauratrice

Studio Art Centers International

"Restoration as a philological moment: significance of St John for Florence and Malta, at the time of Caravaggio".

This lecture presents the results of a series of restoration interventions carried out by Dr. Lapucci privately or at SACI (American university in Florence) for the Italian State and Maltese Museums, or for private collectors, on the subject of St John, respectively Patron Saint of the town of Florence and of the Hierosolimitan Military Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta.

The artworks range from Caravaggio to Mattia Preti, crossing almost all the XVII century. Restoration interventions are briefly described; some propose very innovative solutions.

However  the approach is to read the meaning and symbols of each iconographical choice to present the figure of this Saint, in relationship to the changes undergoing in the Church establishment during such debated period.

Jeremy Boudreau, MA
Head of History of Art
British Institute of Florence

This talk will chart the traditions and historic rituals associated with feast day of San Giovanni, as documented in primary sources and Florentine works of art from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, including cassoni, commemorative frescoes, festival booklets, paintings and a particularly unusual and intriguing source, the seventeenth-century family priorista of Luca Chiari, housed in the Sala Manoscritti at the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze.

After graduating with a degree in Museum Education from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, Mr. Boudreau completed his MA in Art History at Syracuse University as a Florence Fellow. Jeremy has taught Art History at the Florence University of the Arts since 2009, and serves as the Academic Program Coordinator for the annual Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA High School Renaissance Award Program.

“Representations of the Festa di San Giovanni Battista in Florentine Renaissance Art.”

Lisa Clifford

“Inspired by Florence...”

Author:  The Promise, Death In the Mountains

David Battistella
Filmmaker, Director, Writer, Producer, Editor

Federico Maria Sardelli

Direttore, musicologo, compositore, flautista

pittore, incisore ed autore satirico

SACRED MUSIC comes to life, a recording project dedicated to the great music for soloists, chorus and orchestra by Federico Maria Sardelli. The quick success achieved by the CD Baroque Concertos (Brilliant, 2013), awarded with 5 diapasons by the prestigious French magazine Diapason, has disclosed that the contemporary baroque music by Federico Maria Sardelli has a strong communicative ability. Sardelli, beside being a world-famous composer and music director, is one of the world’s preeminent experts on Antonio Vivaldi’s music, and is now in charge of his catalogue (RV). He was defined «Vivaldi’s best pupil».

Penny Mittler MA

Church of England Reader in Florence & Manchester, Archivist for St. Mark’s English Church, Florence

"A Diet of Locusts and Wild Honey - who was John the Baptist?"

Penny is the archivist for St. Mark’s English Church, Florence.  Her Anglo-Italian family has a long association with St. Mark’s and she has done extensive research on its history. She is a Church of England Reader in Florence and Manchester. Penny has an MA in Jewish-Christian Relations and is the author of a case study on ‘The influence of the English Church and the Non-Catholic cults on the Florence of the Risorgimento’ (in Faltin, L. & Wright, M.J. (2007) The Religious Roots of Contemporary European Identity. London & New York: Continuum). She has also published internationally in Special Needs Education and Disability Studies and was a teacher educator at universities in Manchester and Hong Kong between 1995 and 2000.

OPA - Battistero 

Calcio Storico - Modern Gladiators

Florentine film screenings

TEDx Firenze

During a thirty-three year love affair with Florence, Lisa Clifford has written countless articles and several non-fiction books centred around Florence, Tuscany and Italy. Her passion for telling the true and forgotten stories of the past has given her a vast knowledge of the Tuscan farming communities that were forced through poverty to leave their land and move to the city of Florence. Lisa’s lecture will also discuss what inspires writers to base their stories in Florence and the fascination the city holds for creative people. Now, more than ever, Florence is the chosen location for fiction and non-fiction books. Lisa’s talk will focus on how her own books, and others, give a pure Florentine sense of place.