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Lifelong Learning at Swarthmore

The Italian Renaissance, a period lasting approximately 200 years (from the mid 1300s to the mid 1500s), ushered in cultural, artistic, and scientific developments that created our modern world. While greatly interested in the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome, Renaissance scientists and artists inaugurated a period of radical new technological and artistic advancements.

In this eight-week class, Professor of Art History Patricia Reilly will explore these developments through the lives and works of three iconic Renaissance artists: Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), Michelangelo Buonarotti (1475–1564), and Raffaello Sanzio (1420–1520).

For a fuller description of the class and how to register, please see the information below.

I want to thank you for your continued support for LLS and look forward to seeing many of you again in class.

Hansjakob Werlen

Spring 2024 Course: Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo

Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo have come to stand for Renaissance art itself. In this course, we will study these masters, their works, and their heated rivalries with one another in the context of the worlds in which they lived and worked. We will consider topics such as patrons and their agendas, the construction of the artist as genius, the relationship between art and science, the role of art in the domestic sphere, the use of art as propaganda, and the education of the artist.

This eight-week course will be held on Wednesdays on Zoom from 7 to 8:30 pm ET.

Spring 2024 Dates: Feb. 21st, Feb. 28th, March 6th,  March 20th, March 27th, April 3rd, April 10th , April 17th    *Class will not meet during the week of Swarthmore's spring break ( March 9th - March 17th)

Register for this course

Questions? Please contact Mary Carr at 


More About Lifelong Learning 

  • Courses taught by senior or emeriti members of Swarthmore College faculty and other experts.

  • Courses offered in each of the divisions of the College: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences/engineering.

  • No grades, no academic credit, just learning for learning's sake.

  • Open to everyone: alumni, their adult family, friends, Swarthmore College staff, and all friends of the College are welcome.

  •  Virtual classes are not limited in number of participants.

Questions?  For questions about course material, contact Professor Hansjakob Werlen at For all other questions, contact Mary Carr at .

Thank you for your support of Lifelong Learning at Swarthmore.