WEEK ONE: 9 - 13 July 2012

Course 2: Dr Janet Robson

The Art of the Friars in Early Renaissance Italy (c.1250-1470)


The new mendicant orders of Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinian Hermits and Carmelites (otherwise known as the Friars) were the leading patrons for religious art in early Renaissance Italy, where their monumental churches dominated the city skylines. With their new saints and their engagement with the wealthy urban elite of bankers and merchants, the Friars brought major changes in religious devotion and spirituality. This, combined with the spirit of competition between the different orders, generated new kinds of art works and a rapid development in the iconography and style of altarpieces, fresco cycles and tombs. The Friars commissioned all the leading artists of the day: we will study frescoes and panel paintings in Assisi, Florence and Siena, including works by Giotto, Duccio, Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti; Fra Angelico’s frescoes in San Marco, Florence; Piero della Francesca’s Legend of the True Cross fresco cycle in Arezzo; and the Brancacci Chapel in the Carmine. The course will include visits to the National Gallery, The Courtauld Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.



WEEK TWO: 16 - 20 July 2012

Course 11: Caroline Brooke

Art, Money and Power: Medici Patronage in Florence c. 1420–1570


This course is now FULL.  Please contact us if you would like to be added to the waiting list.

The name ‘Medici’ is synonymous with artistic innovation and achievement during the Renaissance in Florence. This course examines the art patronage of more than five generations of the dynasty, from the emergence of the family as a political force early in the Renaissance, to the establishment of the grand duke dynasty that reigned for almost two centuries. It focuses on the commissions of Cosimo the Elder, Piero the Gouty, Lorenzo the Magnificent, and Cosimo I Grand Duke of Tuscany, in order to consider how the political, religious and social aspirations of individual members of the Medici family shaped the cultural and artistic life of the city. The works of major Florentine artists such as Donatello, Fra Filippo Lippi, Michelangelo and Bronzino are examined in relation to the tastes and aspirations of their patrons, as manifestations of civic pride, devotion, and personal ambition. Issues such as familial pietas, the varying fortunes of the Medici bank and the political climate of the period are also considered in relation to the development of Medicean patterns of patronage. Visits include the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.



WEEK THREE: 23 - 27 July 2012

Course 20: Dr Donal Cooper

Renaissance Venice: City and Empire



Renaissance Venice was a melting pot of different cultures and communities. The city drew relics, antiquities and migrants from its maritime empire, a necklace of port cities safeguarding La Serenissima’s trade with the Levant. This course engages with the art and architecture of Venice and its Mediterranean empire between the Fourth Crusade (1204) and the battle of Lepanto (1571). It examines how Venice itself was shaped by the Adriatic and why we encounter the lion of St. Mark in Croatia and Greece. It addresses key artworks within Venice which responded to the experiences of trade, conflict and migration in the Mediterranean, for example: Gentile Bellini’s work for the Scuola Grande di San Marco; Carpaccio’s narrative cycles for the Scuola degli Schiavoni; Titian’s early commissions for the Pesaro family. Beyond Venice, the course surveys Venetian heritage in Dalmatia and on ‘the great island’ of the Venetian sea empire, Crete, asking how metropolitan models of art and architecture were acknowledged in La Serenissima’s colonies. Designed to appeal to those interested in a distinctive view of Venice itself and keen to learn more about Venetian cultural heritage across the Mediterranean, this course includes visits to the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.