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
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.
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.