Italian Art: An Unforgettable Encounter
Instructor: Justo J. Sánchez
Wednesday, July 29, 2020   -   Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Vibrant and alive, the arts are ever-present in Assisi, connecting the human and the divine. Participants study the town’s rich and often ignored Roman past, the cathedral of San Rufino as well as the area’s lesser known churches. In the Pinacoteca, we discover unknown Giotteschi and Umbrian Renaissance painters. The Romanesque-Gothic Basilica of San Francesco was a medieval laboratory of artistic creativity. The repercussions were far-reaching in Italian visual expression. The seminar highlights how Cimabue, the Master of Saint Francis, Torriti, Simone Martini, Lorenzetti and Giotto established a conversation in the church’s two levels of magnificent frescoes. The visit includes the Treasury Museum. The group takes time to visit the 12th century monastery of San Damiano, the Porziuncola and its adjoining museum.

Our journey also includes the Etruscan, Roman, Medieval, and Renaissance treasures in Perugia, Spello, Foligno and Spoleto where we delve into Perugino and Pinturicchio, the “Raphael connection” and the lesser-known masters ignored by Anglo-American art history. This is an adventure “on the go”—asking questions and establishing a dialogue with one another through the medium of leading masterpieces. Together we create a dynamic, informal, interactive, moveable space to discuss aesthetics, art practice, vision, technique, institutions, rituals and spirituality.

Art Workshop International is a multidisciplinary institution where seminar participants benefit from a community of artists and writers whose shared experiences result in a wide range of perspectives.

There may be two or three excursions outside of Assisi which are not included in the tuition. This can range from $100 to $300 per excursion for transportation, gratuities, museum fees, and guided tours.

Seminar participants are asked to bring small binoculars for the appreciation of frescoes and a medium-sized magnifying glass. The book Art and History of Umbria by Giuliano Valdés, Florence, Bonechi Editore, 1993 is the only suggested reading that should accompany the student to Assisi. The book is available in the United States through Amazon and bookstores. 

Instructor Photo

Justo J. Sánchez, an award-winning cultural journalist, has consulted for Sotheby's and important galleries in the US and abroad. Mr. Sanchez graduated from Harvard and studied art history at NYU's Institute of Fine Arts. He taught at the University of Florida's New World School of the Arts. His students have shown at the Whitney Biennial and are represented by serious international galleries. While teaching, he published humanities textbooks. Mr. Sanchez taught graduate courses in curating at Saint Thomas University. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, NPR, BBC, CBC, among others, on cultural and sociopolitical matters. Mr. Sanchez is currently a lecturer in museums, art institutions, and, recently, at Art Palm Beach and Miami International Art Fair. He studied trecento art under Colin Eisler at NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts.

Instructor Photo

Giotto: Ecstasy of St Francis, Fresco, Upper Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Ancient Roman Stele in the Roman Forum Museum under the Piazza Comune.

The Ancient Roman Temple of Minerva in Assisi's central Piazza del Comune.