Ever wanted to tour the world, gain a bit of culture, and learn something while you're at it?
Isn't that what holidays are for, you ask? Holidays are a great way to experience another country's lifestyle, but you have to admit, no matter how good your intentions, the temptations of sun, sea, and sand are probably going to win over any educational trip.
With Courtauld Study Tours, however, you will have an exclusive opportunity to spend between two and five intensive days with field experts, examining art first hand, and getting special access to otherwise closed off collections or monuments.
Great Landscapes of The Cotswolds Friday 7th – Sunday 9th June 2013 Dr Paula Henderson, £425
St James, a wool church, and the East Banqueting House, Chipping Campden
Okay, the first trip isn't really abroad, but the Cotswold has some of the greatest historic landscapes that are well worth seeing. These include the remnants of 'Rosamund's Bower' at Blenheim Palace, a medieval pleasure garden at Woodstock Palace, and Rousham Park. Other places you will visit are the late seventeenth-century Anglo-Dutch water garden at Westbury Court and the delightful Arts and Crafts garden at Rodmarton Manor.
You will be given private access to the late Rosemary Verey's influential garden at Barnsley House, and perform an archaeological investigation of the gardens at Chipping Campden Manor, which was demolished in the Civil War.
Edvard Munch's Oslo Friday 28th – Sunday 30th June 2013
Dr Elena Kashina, £400
'The Scream' by Edvard Munch
On this tour of Oslo, you will explore the life of artist, Edvard Munch, who is famous for his The Scream painting. You will visit the Munch Museum, the city harbour bridge, and the enchanting coastal town of Åsgårdstrand. You shall also have the opportunity to see Munch's house and studio, which is being opened to the public for the first time.
Dreaming Spires and Pre-Raphaelite Scholars: Victorian Oxford Saturday 7th – Sunday 8th September 2013
Dr Carol Jacobi, £250
Oxford is rich in Victorian history and art. In this tour of the city of 'dreaming spires' you shall get the extraordinary opportunity to experience the experimental beauty and innovation of the Pre-Raphaelite Victorian scholars, and explore how their art and their architecture arose from the concerns of their times.
Byzantine Thessaloniki: The Queen of Byzantium
Wednesday 18th - Saturday 21th September 2013, £525
Dr Cecily Hennessy
A trip to Thessaloniki in Greece is ideal place for exploration. Steeped in a fascinating history with several World Heritage sites, this trip focuses on the fourth to the fifteenth century, when Thessaloniki was the principal Byzantine centre of northern Greece. It is home to exquisite mosaics and a striking fifth-century rotunda dedicated to Agios Georgios. Among other sites, you will visit the acclaimed Museum of Byzantine Culture and the Roman palace.
Violence and Power in Early Renaissance Florence
Friday 27th – Sunday 29th September 2013, £400
Dr Scott Nethersole
On this tour of Florence you will study Renaissance art from a different perspective. 'Sweet Madonnas' and ideal bodies are out the window here. Rather, you will explore the violence and social unrest facing fifteenth-century Florence by examining how visual media were exploited to serve the interests of different parties. Each day you will follow a well-known route that not only cuts across the urban geography of the city, but also across preconceptions of the Renaissance.
Santiago de Compostela
Friday 11th – Sunday 13th October 2013, £400
Dr Rose Walker and Professor Rocío Sánchez Ameijeiras
Santiago de Compostela was a small city in the Middle Ages, but it knew how to receive travellers. The tour will be looking at the twelfth-century Pilgrim's Guide from the Codex Calixtinus and visit the surviving landmarks. There will be visits to churches, and museums to help you understand the Puerta de las Platerías, a sculpture on the south door of the St. James The Great Cathedral.
Rome: Politics, Power, and Religion From The Birth of Christianity Until 1300
Wednesday 23th – Friday 25th October 2013, £400
Dr Eileen Rubery
This three-day study tour will explore Christianity in Rome and the Roman Empire after Constantine the Great's accession as Emperor, and the debate over Christ's humanity and divinity. What effect did the Papacy's defense of iconoclasm have on Roman art? What did art in Carolingian Rome look like? You shall visit the church of St. Maria Antiqua, (which is not normally open to the public), the catacombs of Saint Priscilla, and the Pope's Sancta Sanctorum, a lavishly decorated private chapel with restricted access.
The Bay of Naples
Monday 11th – Friday 15th November 2013, £650
Naples is filled with spectacular art and architecture that a majority of tourists miss. You will explore these hidden corners of the city, and discover early Christian mosaics, medieval tombs, Renaissance sculpture, and paintings by Caravaggio. While most tourists go to Pompeii, you will travel to Cumae, the first Greek settlement on the Italian mainland. You will also visit the 'Burning Fields', the great villa at Oplontis, and the Greek Doric temples at Paestum. To round it all off, you ill get to sample great Neapolitan cuisine.