Discovering Renaissance Art in Florence

Concept by David Baroni

Table of Contents


The city of Florence – often called the “Cradle of the Renaissance” – is home to some of Western civilization’s greatest works of art and architecture.

Let’s travel through the centuries to discover masterpieces by Florence’s praised painters, sculptors, inventors, and theorists – from Giotto to Michelangelo.

Included in the program: Guided Tours and entrance to Museums such as Galleria degli Uffizi, Opera del Duomo, and others.

Topics included in the course:

  • Overview of Renaissance art and architecture in Florence and the ‘rebirth’ of beauty, truth, and wisdom;
  • Florence’s beginnings, starting with its foundation as a Roman colony;
  • The development of humanism and the progressive mindset;
  • Early Renaissance in Florence: Masters of the 14th and 15th centuries, from Cimabue to Botticelli;
  • The role of patronage in Renaissance art, the Medici family, and the Platonic Academy;
  • Late Renaissance in Florence: Art history’s famous competing geniuses, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo;
  • An introduction to Mannerism.

Learning outcomes

Participants of this course will learn to:

  • Provide historical context for topics concerning Italian Renaissance art;
  • Guide students in the interpretation of artworks in order to strengthen their visual thinking skills;
  • Lead students in art activities inspired by classical works of art.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Course introduction & precursors to Renaissance art

Course introduction

  • Introductions and presentations of participants’ schools.

Precursors to Renaissance art in Italy

  • Precursors to Renaissance art in Italy: Roman, Romanesque, and Gothic art and architecture;
  • Florence’s beginnings, from its foundation as a Roman colony to the wool trade, to the introduction of a banking network;
  • Visit San Miniato al Monte with a panoramic view of Florence. Romanesque architecture, mosaics, and Byzantine iconography.

Day 2 – Florence during the Middle Ages and the shift to naturalism

  • 14th-century Florence: The Black Death, Boccaccio, and The Decameron; Petrarch and humanism; Cimabue and Giotto;
  • Early Renaissance in Florence: Naturalism and the art of sculpture: Donatello, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti and the Gates of Paradise;
  • Visit to Basilica di Santa Croce: Cimabue, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Donatello.

Day 3 – The rediscovery of perspective

  • Drawing, painting, the rediscovery of perspective, and the chiaroscuro technique: Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, Masaccio, and Paolo Uccello;
  • Visit Basilica di Santa Maria Novella with art activity in the cloisters.

Day 4 – Neoplatonism and symbolism in art

  • Visit San Marco Museum: Michelozzo, Fra Angelico, Ghirlandaio, Girolamo Savonarola, and the campaign for Christian renewal;
  • The role of patronage in Renaissance art, the Medici Family, and the Platonic Academy. Botticelli, symbolism, and storytelling through painting;
  • Late Renaissance in Florence: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raffaello.

Day 5 – Mannerism

  • Introduction to Mannerism with visits to the Bargello Museum and Loggia dei Lanzi;
  • Visit to Museo dell’Opera del Duomo;
  • Group brainstorming: How to incorporate Renaissance art history into classroom activities. Suggestions of low-cost art projects inspired by classical art.

Day 6 – Course closure and cultural activities

  • Course evaluation: summary of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Final visit to the Uffizi Gallery Museum.

Confirmed Sessions

Starting DateCityStatusEnrol
24 April 2023FlorenceConfirmedBook »
22 May 2023FlorenceConfirmedBook »
26 June 2023FlorenceConfirmedBook »

All Available Dates

= confirmed date / = fully booked


Price*: 480€

Reviews about this course

Ana Navarro Ojedafrom Spain
5 stars

I think it is one of the best courses I have made with Erasmus + It was an amazing experience. We have learned a lot about Renaissance, about being European, and the spirit of the city.

Silviya Kuncheva Dobrevafrom Bulgaria
5 stars

I learned interesting things about Italy, Florence - history, art, music, culture, food... I met a lot of wonderful people from different EU countries and made many new friends. I hope we will stay in touch with eachother. I also find amazing the educational trips organised by EuroPass to see museums, galleries... I had the wonderful opportunity to simultaneously enrich my professional knowledge and feel the spirit of Florence. I want to say thank you Sheila for your big, enormous heart!

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