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
All Experts
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Mark Smith
Mark has traveled across all of Italy for over 40 years. In addition to authoring three books about the country, he has led over 35 small groups explorations of Italy. He has studied at the Accademia di belle Arti and Opificio della Pietra Dura in Florence and leads an annual Art and History Trip to Florence. He is a graduate of West Point and has taught classes on Italian art, history and travel at various colleges and universities in North and South Carolina.

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

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Mark Smith
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