London’s National Gallery possesses the finest collection of Italian Renaissance paintings outside Italy. Unlike most other national collections in Europe, it was formed (over nearly 200 years) by connoisseurs and art historians rather than princes and nobles whose less discerning eyes allowed the admission of a proportion of second- and third-raters. There’s no dross on show in Trafalgar Square.
There are four sessions in the galleries of approximately an hour each. While most paintings commissioned then were of a religious nature, the call for portraits and mythologies speak of the burgeoning humanistic interests of patrons. Meaning, context, scale and innovation and what it was that marked out images by the great masters in this period will all be considered. Between the sessions there are leisurely adjournments to the calm and quiet of The National Dining Rooms, the excellent restaurant. With no more than fourteen in the group, radio guides to eliminate problems of audibility, and the presence of an MRT staffer to oversee the arrangements, this should be a highly agreeable and efficacious way to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of Renaissance painting.
Dr Michael Douglas-Scott
Associate Lecturer in History of Art at Birkbeck College, specialising in 16th-century Italian art and architecture. He studied at the Courtauld and Birkbeck College, University of London and lived in Rome for several years. He has written articles for Arte Veneta, Burlington Magazine and the Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes.
Dr Antonia Whitley
Art historian and lecturer specialising in the Italian Renaissance, though her interests also include paintings of World War One. She obtained her PhD from the Warburg Institute, University of London, on Sienese society in the 15th century and has published articles on related topics. She has lectured for the National Gallery and has taught in the War Studies department of King’s College, London. She organises adult education study sessions and has led many tours in Italy. Visit Dr Antonia Whitley's website.
10.15am, National Gallery, Sainsbury Wing.
This includes lunch, mid-morning and mid-afternoon refreshments at the National Dining Rooms.
Maximum 14 participants.
We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.
'The lecturer developed what I already knew and opened new perspectives; very refreshing and stimulating.'
'The lecturer was superb and the tour manager was exceptionally helpful in every way.'
'A very interesting and worthwhile day.'