Treat yourself to an in-depth look at the works and life of four legendary artists. Each was thoroughly unique, with a distinctive personality and a very personal style of visual expression. All four are also universally recognized as artistic geniuses whose creative innovations changed the way we look at art and the eras in which they lived.
9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Michelangelo: The Multitalented Renaissance Man
As the sculptor of the celebrated David, painter of the Sistine Chapel ceiling (for his impatient patron Pope Julius II), an architect of Saint Peter’s, and poet, Michelangelo defines our vision of Renaissance Italy.
11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Peter Paul Rubens and the Baroque
A painter of sensual, voluptuous bodies in glowing colors, Rubens’ theatrical style correlated perfectly with the Baroque era’s emphasis on drama and emotion.
12:00 to 1:15 p.m. Lunch
Participants provide their own lunch.
1:15 to 2:30 p.m. Claude Monet and Impressionism
Monet analyzed the effects of natural light, recording the fluctuations created by the changing seasons, time of day, and weather conditions by repeatedly painting the same subject under varying atmospheric conditions. He sought to convey an "impression" of a scene.
2:45 to 4 p.m. Vincent Van Gogh and Post-Impressionism
A restless artist often on the move, Van Gogh recorded his surroundings, the people he knew, and especially his intense emotions in vivid colors and animated brushstrokes. Everyone and everything—animate or not—pulsates with vitality in his paintings. Janetta Rebold Benton is a Fulbright senior scholar and distinguished professor of art history at Pace University.
Enjoy a blend of train travel and river cruises as you journey through western Europe, and the countries that produced the great masters, on
The Great Journey
Visit the Smithsonian Journeys page to see more
trips to Europe.