Italian language and cultural school for foreigners
Painting with a view of Florence
In the cradle of the Renaissance

Art history courses

The art history courses are organised in cycles of at least 10 hours, over two weeks or a month.

For students with no previous experience of art history there will be a two hour introductory lesson.
Classes are held in Italian, all teachers have a degree in art history and a great deal of teaching experience; they are also official tour guides authorised by the City of Florence.

Introduction to art history

2 hours of classroom lectures

Mandatory introductory lesson for those approaching art history for the first time. Entrance fees to museums are not included.

  • From the ancient world to modern times, analysis of the works of art which reflect the time in which they were made: a study of how every work of art reflects the needs of the moment in which it was produced as well as the elite for whom it was made.
  • Introduction to the figure of the artist and how his/her social position changed from simple artisan to intellectual.
  • How to read a work of art: iconography and iconology.

Prices

Introductory lesson 50
First 10 hours 500
For every additional 10 hours 450
Thematic courses 280
Registration fee 50

Prices valid upon enrolment for all course commencement dates

Course start dates

2017 2018
Jan 9, 23 Jul 10, 24
Feb 6, 20 Aug 7, 21
Mar 6, 20 Sept 4, 18
Apr 3, 18 Oct 2, 16, 30
May 2, 15, 29 Nov 13, 27
Jun 12, 26 Dec 11

National holidays observed in the year 2017:
17 April, 25 April, 1 May, 2 June, 15 August, 1 November, 8 December.

Jan 8, 22 Jul 9, 23
Feb 5, 19 Aug 6, 20
Mar 5, 19 Sept 3, 17
Apr 3, 16, 30 Oct 1, 15, 29
May 14, 28 Nov 12, 26
Jun 11, 25 Dec 10

National holidays observed in the year 2018:
2 April, 25 April, 1 May, 15 August, 1 November.

From the Middle ages to the early Renaissance

10 hours - ticket prices around € 25

  • Historical introduction to the Middle Ages.
  • The Medieval man.
  • The great changes that took place in society: the transition from rural life to urbanisation. The great need for spirituality, the idea of ​​the world and the afterlife of this era.
  • The construction of cathedrals.
  • The mendicant orders.
  • Public buildings.
  • Trading relations with the Arab world.
  • Historic, social, economical, and philosophical changes that lead to the birth of a new man.
  • Giotto, Cosimo il Vecchio, Brunellesci, Donatello, Masaccio and the workshop of Ghiberti.

From early Renaissance to late Renaissance

10 hours - ticket prices around € 30

  • The different artistic languages that characterise the Florentine art scene.
  • The artists who follow the most radical and innovative movement...that of Masaccio, Brunelleschi and Donatello.
  • The members of a traditional movement of the late fourteenth century and the movement of moderate artists, in other words those who approached innovation cautiously.
  • The other pole of artistic renewal....The Flemish and their renaissance.
  • The other centres of Italian Renaissance which include Urbino and Piero della Francesca.
  • The art scene in Florence at the end of the fifteenth century.
  • The great workshops: those of Verrocchio, of the Pollaiolos and of the della Robbias.
  • The art of Botticelli, interpreter of a cultured and refined renaissance and the expression of a decadent society that sees in the figure of Lorenzo il Magnifico its political and intellectual representative.

The Cinquecento

10 hours - total cost of the tickets around € 50

  • Painting in Venice: the affirmation of ‘tonal’ painting.
  • Giorgione and Titian and the alternative choices of Sebastiano del Piombo, the artist who combined the innovations of Giorgione and Titian’s painting with the reflection on ancient art.
  • Painting in Venice during the second half of the sixteenth century: Bassano, Tintoretto, Veronese.
  • Leonardo da Vinci: from Florentine beginnings to the Milan season.
  • Leonardo, man of science who expressed the most ancient values of humanism.
  • Michelangelo, from Florentine beginnings to the great Roman season.
  • Michelangelo: painter, sculptor, architect and poet.
  • The great works of Michelangelo for the Medici.
  • Raffaello, from the beginnings in Perugino's workshop to his stay in Florence and to the great Roman season.

Mannerist Art

10 hours - total cost of the tickets around € 50

  • The great legacy of Raffaello, Michelangelo and Leonardo.
  • The spread of a classical and a Mannerist trend.
  • The great figures of Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Daniele da Volterra and Andrea del Sarto.
  • Refined and cultured art at the court of Cosimo de Medici and in other European courts.
  • Especially Palazzo Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria: Gianbologna, Cellini and Ammanati.
  • Boboli Gardens: extraordinary example of the Italian garden, result of a refined and intellectual society such as the one of the second half of the sixteenth century.

The Seicento

10 hours - ticket prices around € 28

  • Rome at the beginning of the seventeenth century: capital of the Catholic restoration.
  • The key figures of the renovation of painting in Rome: Caravaggio, from the Lombard beginnings to the season in Rome, the Caracci, from the Academy in Bologna to the Roman setting.
  • Genre painting, the naturalist movement and the classical movement.
  • Caravaggio and his influence.
  • The great Baroque art of Rome and the painting of the seventeenth century in the rest of Europe: Bernini, Borromini, Pietro da Cortona, Rubens, etc.
  • Florentine painting of the seventeenth century.

Thematic courses of history of art

5 hour courses (covering different periods of art history)

Lessons will be between an hour and an hour and a half, according to the topic.

Topics:

  • The Medici: story of a dynasty that made art its instrument of power. Visit to Palazzo Medici, Palazzo Pitti and Palazzo Vecchio.
    Ticket prices around € 30.
  • Potions and poisons, alchemy and art in Florence of the past. Visit to the age-old Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, Francesco I's studio, a place of wonders and visit to the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (semi-precious stones plant).
    Ticket prices around € 14.
  • The history and evolution of costumes. Visit to the Costume Museum in Palazzo Pitti.
    Total cost of the tickets around € 10.
  • History and evolution of footwear. Visit to the Ferragamo museum.
    Ticket prices around € 6.
  • History of cooking and mealtimes, as seen and told through paintings. Tuscan cooking workshops and visit to the market of San Lorenzo and/or historical Pegna shop.
  • History of Renaissance Florence: what life was like in the city of Humanism. Visit to the Davanzati Museum and the Horne Museum.
    Ticket prices around € 9.
  • Paintings with gold backgrounds and their history. Visit to a workshop of artisans who use gold leaf.
  • History of sculpture. Visit to the Bargello Museum, at Piazza della Signoria and to the Marino Marini Museum.
    Total cost of the tickets around € 10.
  • History of the fresco and the great cycles of frescoes to be found in Florence. Visit to the church of Santa Maria Novella and Santa Trinita Church.
    Ticket prices around € 5.

It is also possible to request single-subject lessons (5 hours) on: Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and other artists.

Enrolment in Art History courses

Registration is valid for one year and includes the accommodation search service, a few cultural activities, any teaching materials and the certificates.