The Italian High Renaissance

HIGH_webThis course considers the achievements of sixteenth-century Italian artists of 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 Galleria degli Uffizi and the Palazzo Strozzi.



Scroll through the calendar below to locate individual sessions, as well as cultural events at the Harold Acton Library:


View meeting points for course visits and further sites of interest:


What are the most valuable aspects of the course?

  • The diversity on the lectures, visiting museums and art exhibitions, and staff friendliness. N. A. – Serbia
  • Having thought I already knew quite a lot about this period, I soon realized I had, up till now, only “scratched the surface”. I very much appreciated learning so much more about the artists, their techniques and the period in which they lived. A.M. – England


What are the most valuable characteristics of our lecturers?

  • Each lecturer has been simply amazing in passing their specialization subjects over to us. L. N. – England
  • Passion, great knowledge, with a love for learning and for helping us learn. C.T. – Singapore