Virtual Art

History Encounters

In times of crisis people turn to the Arts not only to pass the time but to feed their souls. With that mind, I will be offering a series of Art History Encounters focusing on Italian Art. I know that coming together online raises my spirits and I hope it will do the same for you.

My art history online sessions are free, but your donations help keep my business afloat in this difficult time. You can donate using the Paypal button below or at Zelle using my email address -


All Road Lead to Rome Part One: The Rise and Fall of Rome - Sunday, August 16th at 8PM (CET)

JOIN THE PRESENTATION HERE: All Roads Lead to Rome Part One


By the first century B.C., Rome was already the largest, richest, and most powerful city in the Mediterranean world. During the reigns of Julius Caesar and Augustus, Rome was transformed into a truly imperial city when the emperor was recognized as the ultimate authority. Under the emperors, Rome experienced great achievements in literature, architecture, and the arts. Religious cults flourished, temples built, and a number of public ceremonies and customs reinstated. By the year 1 A.D., Rome was transformed from a city of modest brick and local stone into a metropolis of marble.

An eventual decline in imperial power and the threat of invasions from outside the Italian peninsula, however, led to economic and political collapse. Constantinople replaced Rome as the new capital and Rome declined into a corrupt city teetering on the edge of disaster. Medieval Rome was a dangerous and chaotic place with clans fighting against clans vying for power.  The population dipped from one million people during the time of Augustus to an estimated 20,000 in the year 1000. Even the Pope, fearful of residing in Rome, will abandon the city and move his court to Avignon. Join Elaine Ruffolo as she traces the history and art of Rome from its beginnings as an Etruscan settlement to barbarian invasions.

​Guest Speaker Series - Impressionist Muses: The Women Who Inspired Manet, Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Cassatt on Tuesday, August 18th at 8pm (CET)


Whether it was Camille, Victorine, Aline,  Marie or Lydia,  women were not simply passive models but essential partners, collaborators, lovers and muses for most of the Impressionist artists.  Focusing on just five of the artists active during the Impressionist period of the late19th-early 20th century, this presentation by Natasha Schlesinger will delve into some of the more significant portraits of these subjects as well as their stories and complex and intimate relationships with the artists.  

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Donations are appreciated and you can do so by clicking the button below. 
The Notorious Caravaggio
Guest Speaker Series - Dante's Inferno: A Revolution in Poetry
Florence: Profile of a City
Guest Speaker Series - Naples, Caravaggio and Meatballs 
Guest Speaker Series - Raising the Roof in Florence: Brunelleschi and the Dome of Santa Maria Del Fiore
Guest Speaker Series - Ladies of Easel Virtue: A Brief History of Female Artists in the Eternal City
Guest Speaker Series - Jews in Italy: The Jewish Community in Florence from the Medici to Mussolini 
A Traveler in Italy - Siena: A Gothic Dream
A Traveler in Italy - Mantua: A Princely Court
A Traveler in Italy - Padua: Saints, Sinners and Giotto
A Traveler in Italy - Ravenna: The Twilight of the Roman Empire
From Antiquity to the Selfie: Portraiture Through the Ages
Guest Speaker Series - Leonardo and the Sense of Wonder


art historian