December 5, 2017
[Digital image available upon request]

Williamstown, Massachusetts—Art lovers interested in learning more about a work in the Clark Art Institute’s permanent collection are invited to attend a “Looking and Lunching” talk on Thursday, December 21 at 12 pm. The half-hour discussion, led by Sam Edgerton, Williams College Amos Lawrence Professor of Art emeritus and preeminent scholar on Piero della Francesca, focuses on one of the Clark’s most distinguished paintings, Piero’s Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels. The talk addresses the work’s deceptive representation of earthly and divine space, and the artist’s deliberate manipulation of the rules of linear perspective.
Looking and Lunching is free with gallery admission. Plan to arrive early to pre-order and purchase your meal or bring your own lunch.
Virgin and Child Enthroned with Four Angels depicts the Virgin Mary and Jesus, attended by angels whose wings are partly visible. One of the angels directs the viewer’s attention to the infant reaching for a flower offered by his mother, an interaction that may symbolize divine love or allude to Jesus’s fate. Another angel casts a shadow across the base of Mary’s throne, suggesting the painting originally hung to the right of a window.
Piero was an influential artist and mathematician particularly interested in perspective and in Greco-Roman antiquity. In this enigmatic painting, the figures seem three-dimensional, like marble statues, and occupy a space inspired by classical architecture.


The Clark Art Institute, located in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, is one of a small number of institutions globally that is both an art museum and a center for research, critical discussion, and higher education in the visual arts. Opened in 1955, the Clark houses exceptional European and American paintings and sculpture, extensive collections of master prints and drawings, English silver, and early photography. Acting as convener through its Research and Academic Program, the Clark gathers an international community of scholars to participate in a lively program of conferences, colloquia, and workshops on topics of vital importance to the visual arts. The Clark library, consisting of more than 270,000 volumes, is one of the nation’s premier art history libraries. The Clark also houses and co-sponsors the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is $20; free year-round for Clark members, children 18 and younger, and students with valid ID. For more information, visit clarkart.edu or call 413 458 2303.