Art & Architecture in Florence 2017: Summer Drawing Workshop & Art History Tour

I am excited to announce that in the summer of 2017 my colleague, artist Geoff Flack, and I are co-teaching a two week art workshop in Florence, Italy!  Geoff and I work together at Gage Academy of Art where we have both worked since 2005.  He teaches Figure Drawing classes and the Flack Drawing Atelier and I am the Adult Program Director and I also lecture on art history.

"Il Duomo" Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy

Geoff Flack is an MFA graduate of the New York Academy and he a master at drawing, in particular drawing the figure and also architecture and perspective. He also sometimes works in gouache and drawing with mixed media.

Gouache study of Italy, Geoff Flack

I am really looking forward to the opportunity to show students around one of my favorite cities while viewing some of the world’s most beautiful painting, sculpture and architecture.  Lecturing on art history will take place both in the classroom and on site at several well-known museums and churches in Florence.  We'll discuss the history of this famous city that is considered by many to be the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. 

Copy of Michelangelo's David, Piazza della Signoria

I have co-taught a Gage workshop in Florence twice before (in 2013 and 2014 with Atelier instructor Juliette Aristides) and everyone had a really memorable time.  Here is what I wrote in a past blog post after I took the students to the Brancacci Chapel (in St. Maria del Carmine) which contains the famous early frescoes of Masolino and Masaccio:

“The frescoes were so gorgeous, the painted equivalent to the Gates of Paradise. I think that Quattrocento Florentine art is really my favorite. The art brought tears to my eyes and my students told me the same thing.  After we all went to Santo Spirito in the adjoining piazza, it was one of the most beautiful churches and the students were really glad they went.”

Brancacci Chapel: Saint Peter Raising the Son of Theophilus and 
Saint Peter Enthroned as First Bishop of Antioch, Masaccio, 1425, fresco (Santa Maria del Carmine)

Outside of the classroom students had many opportunities to draw and sketch; copying sculptures in places like the Loggia di Lanzi, making studies of famous paintings in the churches and museums and drawing both small architectural details and larger panoramic vistas.  Geoff Flack stresses the importance of drawing from life and it shows in both his work and in the work of his students.

Geoff Flack, Gouache study
Geoff Flack, Gouache study

Geoff recently returned from living in Italy for two years where he got the opportunity to really learn about the art and culture.  Here are some painted studies in gouache he made while there.
The Birth of Venus by Botticelli (1486)  Uffizi Gallery
During the day our workshop will include visits to several churches, museums and other sites as a group including these among others: 
  • Santa Croce- Contains work by Giotto, Taddeo and Agnolo Gaddi, Donatello and the famous Pazzi Chapel designed by Brunelleschi.
  • Santa Maria Novella- Contains work by Giotto, Masaccio, Ghirlandaio and Filippino Lippi.

Santa Maria NovellaLeon Battista Alberti, 1456-70

  • The Brancacci Chapel- Famous fresco cycle by Masaccio and Masolino.
  • Basilica di Santo Spirito- Beautiful Renaissance church designed by Brunelleschi and filled with artwork including a crucifix by Michelangelo, sculpture by Sansovino and painting by Filippino Lippi.
  • Bargello Museum- Sculpture museum of Florence with many works by Donatello, including his famous David and also sculptures by Michelangelo.
  • The Loggia dei Lanzi- Beautiful open air sculpture court looks onto the Piazza dei Signoria and is a wonderful place to draw.
  • The Pitti Palace- Contains many museums and the Boboli Gardens, the painting gallery holds many Old Master works including Raphael.
  • Museum of artwork from the Duomo- (Museo dell’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore di Firenze) Museum filled with artwork formerly in the Duomo including work by Donatello (St. Mary Magdalene), Michelangelo (late Pieta), and Ghiberti’s original Gates of Paradise.

 The Baptistery with the Duomo in the background

Here is some additional information from the current Gage Academy of Art catalog in case you are interested in joining us next summer:

Art & Architecture in Florence: with Geoff Flack and Carol Hendricks
Gage Academy of Art Drawing Instructor:
Geoff Flack, Atelier Instructor
Art History Instructor:
Carol Hendricks, Art Historian & Gage Adult Program Director
Thursday, June 28 to Saturday, July 14, 2013 (16 nights)
$4,300 double occupancy bedroom in shared apartment/airfare not included

Madonna and Child with Two Angels
Fra Filippo Lippi, 1465, Uffizi Gallery
We invite you to join Geoff Flack and Carol Hendricks for this unparalleled opportunity to study the magnificent art and architecture of the Renaissance while refining your drawing skills. During this 2-week Florence Intensive, your drawing instructor, Geoff, focuses on training your eye and your hand to capture the essence of the remarkable city that surrounds you.

Concurrently, Carol, your Italian art history expert, introduces you to some of Europe’s greatest masterpieces installed in the city’s beautiful churches and extraordinary museums.

Additionally,students will have their own apartments for the duration of their workshop and will be able to explore the city on their own.

 Carol Hendricks in The Boboli Gardens in Florence, July 2013

Florence is one of my favorite cities and teaching there next summer will be my 10th visit, it is really a city I know well.  I often keep a travel blog during my trips abroad, feel free to look over some of my past photos and blog posts, both of the workshops and my travels.

We are both really excited to be teaching drawing and art history in Florence next summer and hope you can join us!

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