Florence Architecture: Brunelleschi with Kate Bolton-Porciatti - Context Travel

Florence Architecture: Brunelleschi with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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Filippo Brunelleschi transformed the cityscape of Florence with an architectural style inspired by a pagan world: the palaces, basilicas, and temples of Ancient Rome. Yet in the churches and chapels he designed for his native Florence and, above all, in the iconic cupola of the city’s cathedral, his use of light, ‘divine’ ratios, and symbolic forms offered a glimpse of heaven.

Cultural historian Kate Bolton-Porciatti traces the formation of one of the most brilliant minds of the Renaissance: the architect and engineer Brunelleschi. He changed the physical landscape of Florence from a maze of medieval towers and fortress-like structures to a harmonious Renaissance city where balance, proportion, and geometry suggest the greater order of things.

We’ll trace his early work as a goldsmith and sculptor in Tuscany, his formative experience in Rome as a ‘treasure hunter’ discovering ancient ruins, and his return to Florence where he masterminds some of the city’s most majestic monuments: the Foundling Hospital, the churches of San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito, the Pazzi Chapel and the cupola of Florence’s cathedral, which - when it was finished in the 1430s - was the greatest dome in the world: a vision of heaven on earth.

The seminar will also enhance a broader appreciation of the architecture and ideals of Renaissance Florence. Led by Kate Bolton-Porciatti, a cultural historian specializing in medieval and Renaissance Florence, this interactive seminar will explore Brunelleschi’s monumental genius. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a deeper understanding of Florence’s historic cityscape.

Kate Bolton-Porciatti is a professor of Italian cultural history and music at the Istituto Lorenzo de’Medici in Florence, where she teaches BA and MA courses in the humanities. She also lectures at the British Institute, Florence, and at the Chigiana Music Academy in Siena. Kate has published extensively as an academic and a journalist; she is a music critic for BBC Music and a travel writer for The Daily Telegraph, UK. Before moving to Italy permanently in 2005, she was a senior producer and broadcaster for BBC Arts & Classical Music in London and has won prestigious Jerusalem and Sony Awards for her programs. She did her M.Phil. thesis in Italy, exploring the musical culture of early Renaissance Florence.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 23 reviews
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(23)
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P
P.
informative commentary, well illustrated

Kate gave a well-illustrated explanation of the architectural features of Brunelleschi's dome, and a good background on how he incorporated Greek and Roman elements in his work. The material was accessible to the layperson and very enjoyable. I am looking forward to the upcoming tour of Highlights of Florence.

N
N.J.G.
Two Geniuses—Brunelleschi and Kate!

Splendid coverage of Brunelleschi's incredible works, with just the right amount of detail. Kate brings Brunelleschi to life (we feel like we know him), and through her descriptions, she makes her audience feel as though they are on these incredible sites.

D
D.G.
Very comprehensive lecture and graphics

I throughly enjoyed the lecture, very comprehensive, great graphics and the background to the main subject matter flowed well. I highly recommend a class with Context Travel and Kate Bolton- Porciatti. I felt like I was in the classroom!

A
A.

Kate Bolton-Porciatti's presentation on Florence Architecture was well organized and presented. I really understood who influenced who and who competed with whom.

K
K.B.
Passion for Florence

Clearly Kate has a passion for all things Florentine. In the absence of real travel this was the next best thing!

Customer Reviews

Based on 23 reviews
100%
(23)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
P
P.
informative commentary, well illustrated

Kate gave a well-illustrated explanation of the architectural features of Brunelleschi's dome, and a good background on how he incorporated Greek and Roman elements in his work. The material was accessible to the layperson and very enjoyable. I am looking forward to the upcoming tour of Highlights of Florence.

N
N.J.G.
Two Geniuses—Brunelleschi and Kate!

Splendid coverage of Brunelleschi's incredible works, with just the right amount of detail. Kate brings Brunelleschi to life (we feel like we know him), and through her descriptions, she makes her audience feel as though they are on these incredible sites.

D
D.G.
Very comprehensive lecture and graphics

I throughly enjoyed the lecture, very comprehensive, great graphics and the background to the main subject matter flowed well. I highly recommend a class with Context Travel and Kate Bolton- Porciatti. I felt like I was in the classroom!

A
A.

Kate Bolton-Porciatti's presentation on Florence Architecture was well organized and presented. I really understood who influenced who and who competed with whom.

K
K.B.
Passion for Florence

Clearly Kate has a passion for all things Florentine. In the absence of real travel this was the next best thing!