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Interpreting Renaissance Art – 5 dates from 11th January 2019

January 11



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This is five-day continuing professional development course for practising guides, conducted over five weeks in­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ ­­­­­­­­­­­­­January and February 2019 (Fridays 11th, 18th, 25th January and Fridays 1st and 8th February 2019)

Interpreting Renaissance Art is a five-day course which will give you:

  • An understanding of the major European movements and artists from the 1200s to the 1500s, presented chronologically;
  • an understanding of some key debates which have surrounded Renaissance art;
  • examples of how artists and ideas interrelate;
  • a suggested way of approaching the research and presentation of works in a tour;
  • optional practical exercises on researching and presenting works of art;
  • aide memoires of key information;
  • and opportunities to look at works of art in detail, something we often don’t have time to do as well as discuss new ideas, and practice speaking about paintings in the galleries to increase your confidence in talking about paintings.

Prepared and presented by practising Blue Badge Guides Alan Read and Sarah Ciacci, and aimed at guides, the course is intended to give you a framework of the development of Renaissance art and practical guidance on how to tackle a tour for clients.

Using a chronological approach the course will take you through all the major phases and periods of art in the Early and High Renaissance as well as some Mannerist (or Late Renaissance) works, so you will see how artists and movements inter-relate.  You will then have a firm foundation from which to present important artists and works, whether in galleries or stately homes.


No detailed knowledge of British art is required though an enthusiasm and a willingness to give art a go are a must!  The course will be geared towards practising guides and is not intended to create art historians.


The format each day will be a morning of formal lectures followed by afternoon visits to a gallery with a combination of model presentations and practical exercises.  In these sessions you will be able to exchange ideas and practise talking about works in a small group.  There is no obligatory background reading but the final session will give everyone who wishes to the opportunity to present a single work.

There is no examination or minimal attendance.


Sarah Ciacci has a BA and MA in History of Art from UCL and worked in the art world for a few years before becoming a Blue Badge Guide, specialising in art. She works as a gallery educator at the NPG and Jerwood, Hastings. She is adjunct faculty for Richmond University teaching history of art courses and tutors trainees at the National Gallery for the Blue Badge Course.

Alan Read has a master’s degree in History of Art from Birkbeck, has been a Blue Badge Guide since 2003 and a Tate guide for even longer.  He is a NADFAS lecturer and regularly lectures at the NPG and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.


All the morning lecture sessions will be at the Guild of Registered Tourist Guides, The Guild House, 52d Borough High Street, London, SE1 1XN.  Morning sessions will be from 10-12.30am.

Afternoon sessions will be from 1.30-5pm in a variety of galleries to include the V&A, National Portrait Gallery and several visits to the National Gallery.



The course will take place on these Fridays: 11th, 18th, 25th January and 1st and 8th of February 2019.


  1. (PLEASE NOTE: if we have fewer than 26 participants the course may not be able to run and you will be advised of this closer to the date)

COST: £280 per person


January 11
Event Category:


Guild House
52d Borough High St
London, SE1 1XN United Kingdom