Renaissance and Baroque Art in Rome and Naples


Director: Andrew Casper, Associate Professor, Miami University

This tour will explore major achievements and developments in Renaissance and Baroque Art (1300-1700) in Rome and Naples. Focusing on these two cities will allow tour participants to study both major (and possibly familiar) works and monuments in Rome as well as some lesser known (but no less significant) sites in Naples. This will allow for an especially rich examination of key artistic developments in painting, sculpture, and architecture that fall both within and outside of the conventional canon, but all of which constitute some of the most celebrated, innovative, and influential artistic achievements in the Western world. The chosen cities of Rome and Naples also provide other notable advantages. First, their convenient proximity to each other will reduce the total travel time. Second, despite their differing political histories the two cities share mutual commonalities and influences in their respective artist cultures that will ensure some cohesion to the various sites and monuments that we will visit.

The itinerary will be sure balance visits to locations such as chapels and churches where individual works are in situ, and can thus be considered in their original physical context, as well as to museums and galleries that will allow for more comparative analyses among numerous works of art gathered in one place. But besides sites of direct interest to the topic of Renaissance and Baroque art, the study tour will also be garnished with experiences that will provide a more robust understanding of Italy’s cultural, culinary, and leisure offerings that for centuries have been and continue to be celebrated by residents and visitors alike.

Itinerary at a glance:

NB –Monuments listed are subject to change based on closings for restoration and other factors outside our control. Every attempt will be made to see that we visit as many of the sites listed as possible.

Tour participants must arrive in Rome by June 15. The tour officially begins the following day.

June 16-18 (3 nights): Rome

The first few days in Rome will consist of visits to sites pertaining to the development of Renaissance art in the city. While the city of Florence is normally regarded as the center for the development Renaissance art in Italy, we will explore how such influences were made manifest in Rome, and how the Eternal City gradually became a center in its own right through the influence of the Church in drawing commissions from such artists as Raphael and Michelangelo.

Sites to be visited could include, but are not limited to:

Monuments of Ancient Rome that influenced Renaissance artists (Forum, Pantheon, etc.)
Vatican Museums (Chapel of Nicholas V, Picture Gallery, Papal Apartments, Sistine Chapel)
National Gallery at Barberini Palace
Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva
Church of San Pietro in Montorio
Church of San Pietro in Vincoli
Villa Farnesina

June 19-24 (6 nights): Naples area

The Harry Wilks Study Center at the Villa Vergiliana in Cuma will serve as our home base while we explore works of Renaissance and Baroque art in Naples. There we will make use of the accommodation (with board) and meeting spaces, as well as the logistical advantages of its proximity to but comfortable position away from sites within Naples itself. We will begin by visiting sites of significance to the development of Naples as a Renaissance court city ruled by Alfonso I and Ferdinand I (second half of 1400s) with an artistic environment that will invite thoughtful comparisons to what we had witnessed in Rome. We will then look at the development of art in the High Renaissance and Baroque periods as Naples came under the domain of the Spanish Crown (1500s and 1600s). It was in this period that Naples hosted such notable artists as Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Jusepe de Ribera, and Luca Giordano.

Sites to be visited could include, but are not limited to:

Castel Nuovo (including the Museo Civico)
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte
Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano
Cathedral of San Gennaro
Church of San Giovanni in Carbonara
Church of San Lorenzo Maggiore
Church of San Domenico Maggiore
Church of the Gesu Nuovo
Church of San Martino
Church of Santa Brigida
Pio Monte della Misericordia

June 25-27: Rome

The final days of this study tour will focus exclusively on highlighting the major monuments of Baroque art in Rome. Here we will see how the city developed as a major center of art production, both ecclesiastical and secular, playing host as it did to such artists as Caravaggio and Gianlorenzo Bernini.

Sites to be visited could include, but are not limited to:

St. Peter’s Basilica
Pauline and Sistine Chapels in Church of Santa Maria Maggiore
Chiesa Nuova (Santa Maria in Vallicella)
Church of Sant’Ignazio
Church of the “Gesu”
Paintings by Caravaggio in San Luigi dei Francesi, Santa Maria del Popolo, and others.
Sculptures by Bernini in Santa Maria della Vittoria and others.
Borghese Gallery
Piazza Navona

June 28: Depart Italy

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