The Programme is planned to introduce many different aspects of the Italian and European cultural tradition. The week in London introduces themes which are developed in Venice. Although the time in Florence and Rome are optional extensions, they add an important dimension to the Course. Most students attend the full programme, from London to Rome.
We start with an introductory week in London. Lectures are held in a private lecture room at the National Gallery, Tate Modern and Christie’s, and introduce art historical themes which will be followed through in Venice, Florence and Rome.
The week includes a private visit to the Venetian section of the National Gallery, and advice about how to appreciate a painting. During this week students are also shown cutting-edge contemporary work in architecture (visiting Richard Rogers & Partners studio, architects of the Pompidou Centre, the Lloyds Building, the Millennium Dome and Heathrow Terminal 5), painting and sculpture (visiting a major contemporary art gallery). At a practical level there is the opportunity to learn about the commercial art world from a Christie’s specialist. (Note: accommodation and meals are not provided during the period in London).
From London we travel to Venice where we spend the next six weeks. Venice’s imperial history and the range of its artistic achievements are renowned, while its advantages as a centre for study and living are incomparable – its human scale, its lack of noise and violence, its sense of separate identity and the unforgettable beauty of sky and buildings reflected in the waters of lagoon and canals. The length of our stay in Venice allows a leisurely and residential style of living and makes possible the various activities which our students enjoy while there.
Florence is the city of the Renaissance. Here, students can study at first-hand the progress of art out of the middle ages under the influence of Cimabue and Giotto, into the new perspective-dominated realism of Brunelleschi, Masaccio and Botticelli and on to the virtuosity of Raphael and Michelangelo – the history of art as propagated by the first art historian, Giorgio Vasari, himself a painter and architect in 16th century Florence.
Florentine Painting, Architecture and Sculpture
On-site visits with Piers Baker-Bates and Charles Hall to The Medici Chapel, Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo, S. Croce, Pazzi Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria, the Bargello, San. Lorenzo, The Laurentian Library, Sta Trinita, Rucellai chapel, Orsanmichele, Ospedale degli Innocenti, San Marco, Galleria Palatina, Santa Felicità, Brancacci Chapel, S.Miniato.
Private visit to The British Institute
We conclude our course in Rome, where the imposing remains of classical antiquity blend with the magnificent churches, palaces, fountains and piazzas of the Renaissance and Baroque popes and cardinals. Our visit to Rome includes the special privilege of a private visit to the Vatican Museums, to include Raphael’s Stanze and the Sistine Chapel – an unforgettable experience, and visits to the Villa Borghese Galleries, with masterpieces by Bernini, Caravaggio, Raphael and Titian, the churches, temples and stunning sites of this vibrant city, a superb climax to nine weeks that will leave an amazing impression on everyone.
Professor, History of Art, Bristol University
Partner, Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners
Head of Art History, St.Paul’s Girls’ School
Head, Frensham School, Australia
Founder director, Nicholas Hall Art
Former Professor of Renaissance Art, Courtauld Institute, London University
Former Director, Warburg Institute, London University
Professor, History of Architecture & Art, Cambridge University
Headmistress, Wychwood School
Professor of History, The State University of New York, Binghamton
Headmistress, Downe House School
Former Director, The National Gallery, London
Dr Penny Wickson
Head of Art History, St Mary’s Calne