North Carolina
The Beautiful and the Powerful of the Italian Renaissance
The Medici’s, Mona Lisa and St. Peter’s Basilica are Italian icons, but how did they come to be? Explore and discuss the origins, artists and legacy of the Italian Renaissance.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22994RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

The serene Blue Ridge Mountains provide the perfect backdrop for a journey back to a time of extraordinary artistic achievement and cultural resurgence. Scholars and art experts paint a portrait of life of the artists of the Italian Renaissance, whose rise and fall were controlled by powerful benefactors. From the 14th to the 17th centuries, cities including Florence, Siena and Venice thrived and wealthy financiers sponsored some of the world’s greatest masterpieces. In this course, discover how cultural forces come together to create paintings, sculpture and architecture which not only symbolize the power of their time; they have become icons of western civilization.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Long periods of sitting during lectures. All facilities are in one building, with approximately 300 yards walking required; a few stairs. Outside areas are mountainous, with inclines and uneven terrain.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Examine the wealth and power of the Medici family — believed to have been the wealthiest family in Europe — and their influence as patrons.
  • Compare and contrast the different artistic schools of Florence, Siena, Venice, Naples and Rome.
  • Discuss the influences, techniques, designs and styles of the Renaissance’s most prominent artists including Botticelli, Brunelleschi, da Vinci and Michelangelo.

General Notes

Opportunities are available for traveling companions to attend a different program at Montreat during the same week. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
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Laura Johnson
Laura Johnson recently moved back to her hometown of Chicago after living in Florence, Italy for nearly 20 years. She organized Road Scholar’s Independent Study Program for nearly a decade and served as an instructor for other Road Scholar programs. A former director of education, Laura combined her master’s degrees in museum studies and early Christian and Byzantine art history to tell the history of humankind through art and artifacts. Her passions are the influences of the Italian Renaissance in Russia.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Laura Johnson
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Mark Smith
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Suggested Reading List
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