By TOM CESARINI | Downtown News
Kevin Petti, Ph.D., is an alum of the University of San Diego, earning his doctorate in 2006.
Dr. Petti is also a dual U.S./Italian citizen, college professor, textbook coauthor, and president-emeritus of the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society. Dr. Petti teaches anatomy and physiology, human dissection, and health science at San Diego Miramar College. Dr. Petti also leads academic programs to Italy focusing on the genesis of anatomy as a science and its influence on the Renaissance masters in the Anatomia Italiana program he founded in 2012. His students range from anatomy professors pursuing continuing education to undergraduate study-abroad programs for San Diego State University.
Dr. Petti is invited to speak about the connection between art and anatomy in Renaissance Italy at international conferences, museums, and Italian American groups as well as universities throughout North America and Europe. The Italian government has invited him to speak at their Cultural Institutes in Los Angeles, New York City, and Houston; and the University of Palermo, Sicily, hosted Dr. Petti for a week as a guest lecturer in its seminar series celebrating its 210th anniversary. In November, Dr. Petti is speaking at the annual conference of Italian Scientists and Scholars of North America, hosted at the Italian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Recently, Dr. Petti gave a lecture at the University of San Diego as part of a Convivio- and University of San Diego-sponsored program highlighting a new art exhibition at the university — “Christ: Life, Death, and Resurrection,” which runs through Dec. 13. Dr. Petti’s presentation, “Connecting Art, Anatomy, and Religion in the Italian Renaissance,” served as the perfect precursor for guests before attending their private viewing of the Renaissance print artifacts on loan from the British Museum. In his discussion, Dr. Petti focused on the nexus of art, anatomy, and religion and the oft-unknown connection of the Renaissance masters’ art form to the discipline of anatomy and how these masters’ analysis and knowledge of anatomy were vital components in the creation of many of their artistic treasures.
Christ: Life, Death, and Resurrection – Italian Renaissance Drawings and Prints From the British Museum
“Christ: Life, Death, and Resurrection” includes more 40 original drawings and prints by Italian Renaissance artists — including Michelangelo, Filippo Lippi, and others — from the renowned collection of the British Museum. This exhibition represents the first time that many of these objects will be displayed in the U.S. and thus is a unique opportunity to study these rare and beautiful works. Hugh Chapman, the keeper of prints and drawings at the British Museum, and a leading authority on Michelangelo’s drawings, curated the exhibit, together with his colleague Sarah Vowles. Michelangelo’s drawing entitled “The Three Crosses,” depicting Christ on the cross between two thieves, is one of the few, large-scale, fully finished drawings by the Italian Renaissance painter and sculptor to survive to our present time. The drawing is joined by scenes of the Nativity, crucifixion, and resurrection in a variety of masterpieces on paper — from woodcuts and etchings to drawings in chalk and ink. The presentation of this exhibition is a collaboration between the British Museum, the University of San Diego, and the Timken Museum of Art, San Diego. (Information on the exhibition is taken with permission from the University of San Diego website.)
Tom Cesarini is the executive director of Convivio. Convivio cultivates community and fellowship, advances Italian cultural identity, and fosters multicultural awareness across myriad disciplines through education and research, social enrichment, and innovative programming.
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