The Art and Architecture of Tuscany

Ref: C3742956

Vasari stated that 'Tuscans have devoted to all the branches of art more labour and study than all the other peoples of Italy', and today, while we may smile at his bias, we also acknowledge the richness and variety of the region's artistic heritage. In this wide ranging course we shall study that heritage, not only in the the major centres of Pisa, and Lucca, and of course, Florence, but also in the smaller cities which have long cherished their own individual artistic and architectural identities, such as Prato, Pistoia, and Arezzo. In the course of our travels we shall meet the great patrons who gave so generously to the beautifying of their cities, and the artist, Michelozzo and Rossellino, Della Francesca and Della Robbia, Donatello and Della Quercia, who so often worked in 'foreign' and difficult conditions to fulfil their dreams.

Course aim

Tuscany is one of the most beautiful and artistically endowed areas of Europe. In this course we shall aim to study not only the major centres of the early Renaissance but also the enchanting smaller cities too.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • An enthusiasm for art and architecture and a desire to share that with others is the main criterion.

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

  • Describe the role played by the city states, both large and small, in the patronage of art and architecture in Tuscany.
  • Evaluate the career and significance of the major artists, sculptors and architects, working in Tuscany in the early Renaissance.
  • Explain the difficult political, social and economic conditions in which patrons and artists often worked in 14C and 15C Tuscany.

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
  • The course will be taught through informal illustrated lectures combined with class discussion and some group exercises. Books will be recommended by the tutor if learners wish to do extra work.

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
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • Progress is assessed largely through question and answer in class.

What else do I need to know?

  • Learners may find it helpful to bring their own notebook to make extra notes in addition to the handout prepared each week by the tutor.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • There are several good books on Tuscany including: Keates, J, Tuscany. Meller and Der Haegan, Art and Architecture in Tuscany. Belozerskaya, M. The Arts of Tuscany.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

The Art and Architecture of Tuscany


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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