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Visions of Paradise: Botticini’s Palmieri Altarpiece


Start Date: November 04, 2015

End Date: March 28, 2016

Francesco Botticini’s Assumption of the Virgin has bewildered scholars for centuries. ‘Visions of Paradise: Botticini’s Palmieri Altarpiece’ showcases new research on this monumental painting, clarifying long-perpetuated misunderstandings about its authorship, date, original location, and iconography.

This free exhibition explores the fascinating life of Palmieri, a true Renaissance man who trained in his native Florence as an apothecary, studied philosophy and rhetoric with the leading humanist scholars of the period, wrote histories, biographies and poetry, held top positions in the Florentine government, and developed close friendships with the Medici rulers of Florence.

Find out more here.


Heaven in mind?

People who report having near-death experiences often describe entering into a ‘heaven-like’ light, being met by dead relatives, and experiencing intense feelings of peace and joy. This ‘otherworldly dimension’ is often described as having a tunnelled or tiered circular structure, such as we see in Botticini’s Assumption of the Virgin.

Learn about Botticini’s vision of paradise with Gallery curator Minna Moore Ede and discover a possible neuroscientific explanation from Professor Colin Blakemore of the University of Oxford.

Date and time

Thursday 14 January, 11am–1pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Minna Moore Ede and Colin Blakemore