City by city: The Italian Renaissance

Wednesday 19, 26 September & 3, 10, 17, 24 October 2–3.15pm

Sainsbury Wing Theatre

Jo Walton

£30/£25 conc./£20 Members and Patrons

Explore key cities of the Renaissance through paintings from our collection and beyond

Learn about the art of Italy's Renaissance cities in this course of six introductory lectures. Each session includes a one-hour lecture followed by 15 minutes of discussion. An optional non-assessed homework is offered on a weekly basis. This typically involves a close-looking exercise in the Gallery.

Week 1: Wednesday 19 September

Beginning in Florence

Discover the art of Florence, the city where the Renaissance began and where it flourished in the 16th century with artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli and Michelangelo.

Week 2: Wednesday 26 September

Venice: Gateway to the East

During its heyday, Venice was one of the most powerful city states in Europe, controlling the trade routes between East and West. Discover how the vast wealth of the city and the countries it traded with, made its mark on the art and architecture of city.

Week 3: Wednesday 3 October

The Art of Rome

During the Renaissance more than 20 popes ruled Rome, lavishing the city with art and architecture. From Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling to the sacking of Rome in 1527, discover the story of art in the papal state.

Week 4. Wednesday 10 October

Leonardo da Vinci in Milan

Milan was ruled by the Sforza family, who commissioned Leonardo da Vinci, the quintessential Renaissance man, as the city's engineer. Learn about ‘The Last Supper’ as well as his many other contributions to the city.

Week 5. Wednesday 17 October

Classical painting in Urbino

The town of Urbino was ruled by Federigo da Montefeltro, a military expert who commissioned classically inspired paintings and the Renaissance style Palazzo Ducale. Discover the art of Piero della Francesca and others.

Week 6. Wednesday 24 October

Mantua: Host to Renaissance greats

Mantua was ruled by the Gonzaga family who employed some of the most celebrated Renaissance artists of the day, such as the painter Mantegna and the architect Alberti, to create classically inspired works for the city.

Course leader biography: Jo Walton
Jo Walton been lecturing for The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) for over fifteen years, specialising in the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance, and in aspects of British 20th-century painting. She has worked extensively with The Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery and The Art Fund, as well as local art groups around the UK and was a guide at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern for over a decade.

There are several ways to enjoy these lectures, you can book the full course (with an additional option to include a tutored visit to the Gallery) or you can select individual lectures.

Option one: Full lecture course:
£150/£120 conc./£100 Members & Patrons

Option two: Full lecture course with Gallery visit:
£330/£290 conc./£260 Members & Patrons
After each lecture, join a small group in the Gallery for close-looking at relevant paintings and discussion with a National Gallery educator. Places are limited to 25. Book early to avoid disappointment. We will finish by 4.30pm.

Option three: Select from individual lectures below:
£30/£25 conc./£20 Members and Patrons