January 16, 2015

When in Rome

I took a leap of faith and dipped deep into the coffers to buy a plane ticket to Italy yesterday. I applied to St. Mary's University for their Art History 405 Travel Study course - Rome from Constantine to Caravaggio: Art, Architecture & Transformations of the City.
I especially love Italian artwork, the Renaissance, and lavish decorative sacred artworks. The course itinerary seemed too amazing to pass up. I think it'll make for the perfect travel education to help me create my next body of work. It will also be an opportunity to examine the metamorphoses and continuities that characterize Roman artistic culture and its urban and architectural settings during the nearly fourteen hundred year period between the end of pagan Roman Antiquity and the conclusion of the Baroque era. I think I may have to bring two cameras as I will be going photo crazy since I wont have the kind of time to just draw and paint while there.

Classes will take place on location in the “Eternal City” as well as in Florence, permitting first-hand study of extant works in situ. These range chronologically beginning with the Ancient through the Early Christian, Medieval, Renaissance, and concluding with Baroque Rome. Monumental painting, sculpture, architecture, mosaic cycles, and city planning constitute major foci of the course, as do other arts high in the medieval hierarchy of media such as manuscript illumination, ivory and wood carving, metalwork, textiles and embroidery, and the multi-media events - liturgies, processions, coronations, pilgrimages - in whose service much medieval Roman art and architecture were created.  The course will have an interdisciplinary theme focusing on the interplay of cultural, political, and social forces shaping the art and architecture of each era which in turn transformed the very visage of Rome and Italy itself.

Students will be housed in the middle of The Eternal City, so they may easily access the churches, the art and the architecture of Rome. In addition, side trips to Florence and Siena are included in order to maximize their Art History exposure. The itinerary allows for formal group lectures, informal art visits with Martinho Correira, and sufficient unscheduled time for students to revisit favourite works of art. 
Quite frankly, I'm extremely excited about the food!!! On this trip I will have many opportunities to  purchasing their food, negotiating local transportation, visiting tourist attractions, and visit several art ateliers which are seeking to revive the classical approach to art education.  will have natural opportunities to use their foreign language skills and/or be inspired to improve their foreign language abilities. Of these skills I currently have none,  which is why I am going with a group and under the guidance of somebody who knows the language and the cities.  As for eating amazing food, thats a skill I am well versed in.
I will have lots of time to explore the collections in the Vatican, see Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel amongst a long list of monumental works there. We will be staying in one of the many monasteries located centrally near many of the cultural and historical sites in both Rome and Florence.  Staying in a monastery allows us to keep the cost of accommodation down in two very expensive European tourist cities. I extended my trip by 4 days in order that I may spend a bit more time in Florence and visit two of my favourite Art ladies; Nicole who lives and works in Florence and The pink lady, Julie who is in a nearby towncan't wait to experience the sights and sounds and to see first hand the art that I admire. If anyone has been to rome or Italy and has some recommendations of what I should plan on doing once I get there, please pass it along, it is greatly appreciated. I look forward to more research and posts leading up to my departure. 

When in Rome…….



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