The Renaissance Program

The Renaissance Symposium: The Ideas, Figures, and Influence of Renaissance Humanism



A classroom in Palazzo Rucellai and Leon Battista Alberti’s Façade—home of the International Studies Institute in central Florence.

The Renaissance Symposium

Building on the work of our immersive, five-day course in Florence, “Creating the Best Possible World: The Energizing Ideas of the Italian Renaissance,” we are excited to announce a one-day symposium at the historic Palazzo Rucellai, in collaboration with the International Studies Institute.

Palazzo Rucellai, shown above, stands as an integral piece of Florentine history. Its façade was conceptualized by the renowned Renaissance polymath, Leon Battista Alberti, whose contributions spanned architecture, art theory, and philosophy, amongst other fields.

The symposium consists of scholarly presentations, each followed by a stimulating discussion.

The presentations, which you can read about below, include topics such as Stoicism in Renaissance humanism, Marsilio Ficino and Renaissance Platonism, the reception of Hermetic ideas during the Renaissance, as well as the civic and artistic dimensions of Renaissance thought.

Participants of our five-day course are encouraged to attend the symposium at no charge and to engage in the discussions.

Before lunch, Stefano Baldassari, of the International Studies Institute, will give us a thirty-minute tour of Palazzo Rucellai.

In addition to the symposium, we will have a wonderful, two-hour lunch break at Ristorante La Spada, right next to Palazzo Rucellai.

The Renaissance Symposium Presentations

Presentations are arranged in roughly historical order — starting with Stoic philosophy in Petrarch and ending with the modern world.

David Fideler

The Influence of Stoic Philosophy in Early Renaissance Humanism: Petrarch and Leon Battista Alberti

David Fideler, The Renaissance Program

Stefano Baldassarri

From Commune to Republic: Renaissance Florence in the Eyes of Salutati, Bruni, and Modern Scholarship

Stefano Baldassarri, International Studies Institute

Barbara Di Gennaro Splendore

The Medici Palace, Renaissance Collections, and the Origin of Museums

Barbara Di Gennaro Splendore, International Studies Institute

Peter Forshaw

Hermes and “the Ancient Theology” in the Renaissance

Peter Forshaw, University of Amsterdam, Center for the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents

Marieke van den Doel

Neoplatonism and Renaissance Art: The Case of the Tempio Malatestiano

Marieke van den Doel, University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht

Shawn Eyer

A Harmony of Mind and Spirit: The Renaissance Syncretism of Pico della Mirandola and Modern Spirituality

Shawn Eyer, Harvard University

The Renaissance Symposium is held in cooperation with the International Studies Institute in Florence.


The symposium is open to the speakers, members of our five-day course, and to the general public — but the room only holds 30 people.

If you would like to attend the symposium and you are not a member of the course, please fill out the form below with your name, email address, and in the comments section include the word “Reservation.” We will confirm this information with you one week before the symposium. We are also happy to answer any questions.

Please read about the complete five-day course by clicking the green button below: “Creating the Best Possible World: The Energizing Ideas of the Italian Renaissance.”

Use this form to contact us, to make a reservation, and to receive further information.

The Renaissance Program in Florence gratefully acknowledges the help and support of our friends in Florence and around the world who have helped to make our events possible, including the International Studies Institute (ISI Florence), the British Institute of Florence, The Social Hub in Florence, the owners of the Medici Villa in Fiesole, Plato‘s Academy Centre in Athens, the History of Hermetic Philosophy and Related Currents program at the University of Amsterdam, the Temenos Academy, and other supporters. Without this support, the Renaissance Program in Florence would not be possible.


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