5:30pm - 7:00pm
- Charles Maier – Leverett Saltonstall Professor of History, Harvard University; Resident Faculty, CES, Harvard University; Director (1994-2001), CES, Harvard University
Italian landscapes are inseparable from European art history and its aesthetic self-awareness. Yet, these landscapes also profoundly influence Western understandings of politics and history. Foundational concepts and ideas that shape our political imagination are embedded in visual images of Florence, Rome, Siena, Venice, or the Tuscan countryside. The land- and cityscapes of Italy evoke notions of the self-governed republic, civic virtues, dangers of tyranny and importance of citizens’ rights, duties and obligations. Through their timelessness, today’s landscapes of Italy form the deepest connection between ancient political traditions and contemporary ideas and echo aspirations toward a Europe unified and without borders.