Florence and the Medici

Ref: C3741445

The course examines the art and architecture commissioned by the powerful Medici family in Florence during its three hundred year rule, from 15th to 18th century. The best artists of the time were employed to do ground-breaking works. From Donatello’ sculpture to Botticelli’s mythological paintings; from Vasari’s decorative schemes to courtly portraits, we shall study various art works, considering the reasons why they were commissioned and their effect on the appearance of the city.

Course aim

To introduce the learners to art works created for the Medici family in Florence by artists such as Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Donatello and Giambologna and to examine the reasons for their patronage.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Examine some of the works of art commissioned by the Medici in a critical way
  • List two reasons for the Medici’s patronage of the arts.
  • Describe some architecture built for the family using accurate terminology

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • A short reading list will be provided at the start of the course.

What can I do next?

  • Attend further WEA courses on Florentine art and architecture and/or the Medici family; plan a visit abroad to see some of the works commissioned by the family.

Download full Course information sheet

Florence and the Medici


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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