Four Italian Renaissance Cities

Four Lectures Exploring the Art of Florence, Milan, Rome and Venice

Jacob Burckhardt famously described the Renaissance in terms of the revival of classical antiquity and the emergence of a new spirit of curiosity and self-awareness, which he called ‘the discovery of the world and of man.’ Yet he also suggested that there were important distinctions between the art of republican Florence and of autocratic Milan and between the patronage offered by Venetian merchants and Renaissance popes.

These four talks explore the cities in the context of artists such as Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael and Giorgione. They compare the influence of political and social factors with the development of new ideas, materials and techniques. They also look at the influence of northern Europe and the Islamic world on one of the most exciting periods of European art.

The talks have been designed for groups intending to visit the four cities but can be reframed to address the work of individual artists by request.