Will the real Santa Claus please stand up?

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Dr Janet Robson

janet_robson_An independent art historian with a BA in history, an MA in early Sienese painting and a PhD in the history of art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, Dr Robson lectures widely for both academic and private study groups. She has published extensively on 13th and 14th century Italian art and divides her time between Assisi and London.

Our Christmas lecture looks at the origins of Santa Claus. The familiar image of the man with the white beard and red suit was to a large degree the creation of an American illustrator in the 1860s. This lecture follows the transformation of St Nicholas through 1600 years of history as Dr Robson traces how medieval Europe made Saint Nicholas into one of the greatest miracle-workers of all time – and sets the story within its Christmas context.


Caption: St Nicholas icon by unknown; Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai (Egypt)

The notes for this lecture can be downloaded here.


Below are photos of this lecture