This course will explore the development of art and architecture in Florence from the period ca. 1280- 1550. Through an in- depth analysis of the art and history of this period, we shall develop an understanding of Florence’s role in the overall development of Western civilization. Florence exhibits to this day a particularly well- integrated visual culture that integrates fully the arts of painting, sculpture and architecture. Taking advantage of this, we will use the city as our classroom in order to examine the development of Florentine art and architecture in context. In addition to aesthetic and stylistic themes, we will also explore social, political, economic and historical issues.
- Monday MaRCH 27, 2017 (9:00am-12:00pm) – Masterpieces of the Uffizi Gallery
Sites visited: Private visit to the Uffizi Gallery | Duration: 3 hours
This will be an exclusive lecture for the members of this program while the museum is closed to the general public. The painting collection in the Uffizi Gallery is the most important collection of Italian Medieval and Renaissance paintings in the world, and includes works by Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo and Michelangelo. This lecture will examine these works in depth and will trace the development of Italian painting from c.1300 to c.1500.
- Tuesday MaRCH 28, 2017 (2:00Pm-5:00pm) – The Cathedral complex
Sites visited: Private visit of the Cathedral, Baptistery and Museo Dell’Opera del Duomo | Duration: 3 hours
The Cathedral of Florence, named Santa Maria del Fiore, is the religious center of the great medieval city. For two centuries, it was the largest church in Christendom.It is situated by one of the oldest and most important monuments in Florence – the Baptistery of San Giovanni. We will explore the vast architecture of the Cathedral and analyze the engineering marvels that not only made this structure possible, but also Brunelleschi’s great crowning dome. This will include a private visit of the Cathedral. The lecture will also include a visit to the Cathedral museum which contains one of the most important collections of sculptures’ in the city including Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise.
- Wednesday MaRCH 29, 2017 (2:00Pm-5:00pm) –The Rise of the City state and the Art of the Mendicant Orders: Piazza Signoria and the Church of Santa Croce.
Sites visited: Piazza Signoria and Church of Santa Croce | Duration: 3 hours
The Palazzo and Piazza della Signoria were the great political nerve centers of the Medieval Republic. The architecture of the Palace and the sculptures within the piazza each reflect the political history of Florence. We will examine the major aspects of this art, architecture and history within the great urban space. The lesson will then continue in the church of Santa Croce, the largest Franciscan church in the world. Most famous for its celebrity tombs, including the likes of Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli, the Gothic church also contains one of the most important cycles of Medieval frescoes by the great master Giotto.
- Thursday MaRCH 30, 2017 (9:00am-12:00pm) – The Renaissance of Sculpture: Bargello and private visit to Orsanmichele.
Sites visited: Bargello Museum and Church of Orsanmichele | Duration: 3 hours
The Bargello Gallery is the National Sculpture Gallery of Florence containing some of the critical works of artists such as Donatello, Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Verrocchio and Michelangelo. Through an in-depth analysis of these works, we will trace the development of Renaissance sculpture from the famous baptistery door competition of 1401 to the eclectic bronze David by Donatello. We will then continue on to the grain-market-turned- church of Orsanmichele. The sculptures that adorn the exterior of this building were commissioned by the omnipotent guilds of Florence to artists such as Donatello and Ghiberti to express the individual guild’s status and wealth in the city.
- Friday MaRCH 31, 2017 (9:00am-12:00pm) – The Divine Michelangelo: the Accademia Gallery and the Medici Chapels.
Sites visited: Accademia Gallery and Medici Chapels | Duration: 3 hours
This lecture will begin in the Accademia Gallery, the 19th century museum built to house Michelangelo’s David, known in Florence as “Il Gigante”. This sculpture has been heralded as arguably the greatest expression of sculpture of all time. We shall dissect all aspects of the David’s style and history while standing in its great shadow. This lecture will also include Michelangelo’s New Sacristy within the Medici Chapels. Here we will encounter not only Michelangelo as sculptor, but also Michelangelo as architect. Working for the Medici Popes Leo X and Clement VII, Michelangelo designed one of the most innovative Renaissance interior spaces into which he incorporated his allegorical sculptures of the “Times of the Day”.
PROGRAM “Florence: Masterpieces of the Florentine Renaissance” | March 27 – 31, 2017
– 15 CONTACT HOURS
– DONATION TO MUSEUMS FOR PRIVATE ENTRANCES
– ADMISSIONS TO ALL SITES AND MUSEUMS
– A WELCOME PACKET
– 2 EVENING EVENTS:
– * WINE TASTING
– * EVENING ART HISTORY LECTURE AT PALAZZO TORNABUONI