Before You Go: Florence – Accademia Gallery with Kate Bolton-Porciatti

Before You Go: Florence – Accademia Gallery with Kate Bolton-Porciatti


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Context's Before You Go online seminars are designed for travelers looking to enhance their in-person experiences at famous landmark destinations in cities around the world.

Our interactive conversation will present a selection of highlights from the varied collections of one of Italy’s most popular museums: the Accademia Gallery in Florence. Together we’ll explore paintings by Botticelli and Perugino, sculptures by Michelangelo and Giambologna, and precious musical instruments, including a unique tenor viola by Stradivarius. This seminar has been designed to complement Context's Introduction to Florence: with Accademia and Michelangelo's David Tour.

The Accademia Gallery in Florence is most famous for Michelangelo’s David and his unfinished ‘Prisoners’, but it also showcases paintings by some of the great Italian masters – Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Andrea del Sarto, and Pontormo. In addition, this ‘temple of the arts’ boasts a precious collection of musical instruments and paintings that shed light on the Medici’s patronage of music – one of their final artistic flourishes before the dynasty died out in 1743. 

During our time together, we will learn how the great Florentine tradition of sculpture continued after Michelangelo - with Giambologna’s monumental ‘Rape of the Sabine Woman’, with marble musical instruments, and with the captivating works of Lorenzo Bartolini. We will also pay a virtual visit to the atmospheric ‘Gipsoteca’ – a trove of plaster casts of famous Florentine statues as well as tender and realistic portraits of 19th-century Grand Tourists in Italy, all of which help us understand the process of making a sculpture. 

Led by an expert on Italian culture, Kate Bolton-Porciatti, this interactive seminar will give an in-depth introduction to the Accademia’s diverse collections of painting, sculpture, and music. Designed to inspire curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation of the range and quality of this exceptional ‘temple of the arts’. 

Eager to learn more? Get inspired with our other Florence virtual content:
Or explore Venice on a private walking tour with Context:

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.

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