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RAFFMA Lecture on Venice and the Mediterranean: Artistic Diplomacy and Portable Art and Architecture

San Bernardino, Ca. – The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art (RAFFMA) at Cal State San Bernardino will present “Venice and the Mediterranean: Artistic Diplomacy and Portable Art and Architecture,” a lecture by Tatiana Sizonenko, art historian and curator, as part of the museum’s monthly Conversations on Art series. The event will take place on Thursday, March 8, 6-8 p.m.

The talk will highlight artistic ties between Venice and the three Mediterranean powers (the Crimean Khanate, Muscovy and Constantinople), which variously appropriated Romano-Byzantine heritage to forge their cultural identities.

In particular, it will explore the central role of Venetian artists in diplomatic exchanges in the early Modern period, specifically, the work of Gentile Bellini and Alevisio Novy, the painter and the architect, and their agency in the development of multi-lingual artistic forms that contributed to a politicized discourse in which Italian, Ottoman, Crimean and Muscovite courts competed for status and recognition through shared ideas and tastes.

The talk will demonstrate the complex nature of cross-cultural mediation in art and architecture and what traveling artists learned from their work at other courts. In considering the uses of Italian artistic expertise for the representation of imperial authority, Bellini and Novy required unprecedented resourcefulness and adaptability, and ultimately an imaginative leap on their part.

Sizonenko is an art historian and curator. She received a doctorate in Renaissance art history, with a specialization in Venice and the Mediterranean world, from the Visual Arts Department, UC San Diego. Currently, she is conducting research for her book on Renaissance art and artistic diplomacy, serving as guest curator for the University Art Gallery at UCSD and teaching at Cal State Long Beach, Cal State San Marcos and Grossmont College. In both university and museum settings, Sizonenko has taught courses on Western art, from ancient to contemporary, with a strong focus on the intended function of art objects in their respective historical contexts.


The Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art is a nationally recognized museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The only accredited art museum in San Bernardino, RAFFMA has accumulated a permanent collection of nearly 1,200 objects focusing on Egyptian antiquities, ceramics and contemporary art. Located at Cal State San Bernardino, RAFFMA houses the largest permanent and public display of Egyptian art in Southern California.

General admission to the museum is free. Suggested donation is $3. Parking at Cal State San Bernardino is $6 per vehicle and $3 on weekends.

The museum is open Monday-Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday, noon-8 p.m. and closed Friday and Sunday. For more information, call (909) 537-7373 or visit the RAFFMA website at

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