Monthly Courses


DAWN of the Renaissance

(September, January, April)

This course covers the dramatic awakening of Italian art during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, particularly in the vibrant, independent city republics of Tuscany. Against a backdrop of rapid economic growth, turbulent political change, famine and war, artists including Cimabue, Arnolfo di Cambio, Giotto, Andrea Pisano, Duccio, Simone Martini and Ambrogio Lorenzetti skilfully catered to new contemporary religious, cultural and political aspirations, forging a new style and marking the beginning of the dominant figurative tradition in Western European art. This course includes on-site visits to the Baptistery of San Giovanni, the church of San Miniato al Monte, the Palazzo Davanzati, the church of the Ognissanti, the church of Santa Maria Novella, the church of Orsanmichele, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and the church of Santa Croce. 





The EARLY Italian Renaissance

(October, February, May)

This course explores the principal developments and innovations of Italian art that occurred in the fifteenth century. A constellation of artists and architects, including Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Donatello, Masaccio, Leon Battista Alberti, Fra Filippo Lippi and Sandro Botticelli all created ground-breaking works for Florentine institutions and families that are still considered milestones in the history of Western art today. This course considers the lives, works and patrons of these figures as well as the political, social and religious context of life in fifteenth-century Italy. This course includes on-site visits to the Brancacci chapel in the church of the Carmine, the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, the church of San Lorenzo, the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi, the convent of Sant’ Apollonia, the convent of San Marco, the church of Orsanmichele and the church of Santa Maria Novella. 





The Italian HIGH Renaissance

(November, March, June)

This course considers the artistic achievements of sixteenth-century Italy known as the High Renaissance. The supreme works created by masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Jacopo Pontormo, Benvenuto Cellini, Giorgio Vasari and Giambologna established new canons of aesthetic beauty and artistic output that pervade Western culture to this day. This course examines the rise of these legendary figures, the friendships and bitter rivalries that existed between them, and the role of powerful and discerning patrons including Pope Julius II, Cosimo I de Medici and Eleonora di Toledo. This course includes on-site visits to the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, the New Sacristy and Princes’ Chapels at the church of San Lorenzo, the Palazzo Vecchio, the Galleria dell’Accademia, the church of Santa Felicita, the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo and the Palazzo Strozzi.





Art in Renaissance FLORENCE

(July, December)

Combining elements from the Dawn through High Renaissance programmes, this course surveys the spectacular achievements of local artists over four centuries, including the historical factors which made Florence such a receptive setting for the patronage and cultivation of intellectual and artistic figures including Cimabue, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Donatello, Masaccio, Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Pontormo, Vasari, Bronzino and Cellini. This course is offered over four weeks in July and over two weeks in early December. This course includes on-site visits to the Baptistery of San Giovanni, the church of San Miniato al Monte, the church of Santa Croce, the church of Orsanmichele, the Brancacci chapel in the church of the Carmine, the church of Santa Maria Novella, the Museo Nazionale del Bargello and the Palazzo Vecchio. 



 History of Art on-site visits in Florence:
MONTHLY COURSES in History of Art focus on Early Modern Italy, with an emphasis on Florentine art. Works of art are never examined in isolation but are firmly placed in their social, political, religious and historical context. Our courses challenge students to examine individual artists within the context of their place of birth. As well as learning to identify specific styles, emphasis is given to the techniques and materials used to create Renaissance works of art.  Our autumn, spring and summer cycles allow for enrolments any time of year, and our courses are fixed in the calendar year to facilitate travel and accommodation arrangements well in advance. It is possible to enrol for the full duration of monthly courses, or by individual weeks or sessions. 
Each course comprises a combination of interactive, illustrated lectures, as well as visits to key sites led by members of the British Institute of Florence History of Art Teaching Team, and professional workshops, in which students meet professionals in the various fields of artistic and cultural preservation. Sessions are held on weekday afternoons, with the occasional morning or Saturday session to accommodate limited opening times at specific sites. Sessions normally last an hour and a half to two hours, with lectures being held in the Harold Acton Library at the British Institute of Florence (Lungarno Guicciardini 9). Visits begin directly on site at designated meeting points, and technical art history workshops alternate between the Library and professional work sites in Florence.


The international History of Art Teaching Team offers a spectrum of expertise and individual approaches to teaching, while the British Institute ‘house style’ of lecturing is informal, relaxed, engaging and participatory. Our courses are accessible to those coming to the subject with no previous background in History of Art, but are at the same time pitched at a level that will engage all those who are already familiar with the subject.


It is possible to follow courses in succession for up to 12 weeks, or to take individual courses by week or even by session:


1-3 SELECTED SESSIONS (90 MINUTES) 50 per session
 Combine History of Art with an Italian Language course at any level:
12 WEEKS  -  € 3790
 8 WEEKS  -  € 2590
 4 WEEKS  -  € 1390 

 If you would like to follow month-long courses, or combine History of Art with Italian language courses, click below to complete the enrolment form and send it to us by post, fax or email.

For further information