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The NIKI organises and facilitates several courses for students and Ph.D. candidates. Unless otherwise stated, knowledge of the Dutch language is not required; courses will be taught in English if there are participants who do not speak Dutch. The Summerschool is open to all students.

Bachelor/Master course Leonardo da Vinci

In the Summer of 2021, the director prof. Michael W. Kwakkelstein will provide the Bachelor/Master course ‘Leonardo da Vinci. The Tension between Practice and Theory.’

Florence, August 16-27, 2021

Costs: € 10* per person per night (museum visits and travel expenses not included).
€ 12-15 Reader
*€ 25 per person per night for those who are not registered as a student at one of the six participating universities.

Deadline for application: May 1, 2021.

This course is an in-depth study of the drawings, paintings, and writings of Leonardo da Vinci (Vinci 1452-Amboise, France 1519). This course seeks to define the relationship between Leonardo’s development as a painter and his scientific research. The student will become familiar not only with the artist’s individual masterpieces but also with his writings on painting and the implications of his concept of painting as a science. The student will gain insight into the design process of Leonardo’s painted works through an attentive analysis of the preparatory drawings that reveal a close study of cause and effect in Nature.

Click here for more information.

Minor Program Florence-Rome

Italian Art & History

1st semester 2021-2022 (September-December)

Deadline for applications: 1 May 2021


Florence and Rome are of paramount importance to those working in the humanities, since most of its disciplines originate in late medieval or early modern Italy, and even postmodernism has some of its most significant roots in Italian intellectual debates. Therefore, Florence and Rome offer an ideal ground to explore the historiography of art history, history and adjacent fields from both a historical and a contemporary perspective. This Minor program, hosted and financed by the Dutch Institutes in Florence and Rome, offers the opportunity to do so to a select group of Dutch students, allowing them to work with a large variety of methodologies in order to understand present-day Italy through its historical developments, as well as stimulating them to critically assess their disciplinary orientation in a profoundly cross-disciplinary context.

What distinguishes this Minor is the on-site teaching, where students are invited to always take into account the first-hand observation of objects, locations, urbanistics and social contexts. In all its courses, students are trained in documenting and analysing visual materials and performative practices in the Florentine and Roman contexts. This Minor is also unique because of the integration of essential skills. First, students acquire basic proficiency in the Italian language that allows them to read both primary sources and contemporary scholarship. Following an introductory intensive language course, a reading laboratory focuses on the comprehension of relevant source texts in Italian, by means of collaborative translations. Second, skills such as archival research and the use of historical bibliographic material are trained on location during working sessions in historical libraries and archives. All courses have the format of an intense workshop that invites students to actively participate.

The program runs during the first semester, from September till Christmas, starting with a two-months stay in Rome at the KNIR and followed by a two-months stay in Florence at the NIKI. It consists of an introductory Italian language course (in Rome) and four consecutive seminars: two in Rome (t.b.a) and two in Florence (t.b.a).

Teaching staff
All seminars are co-taught by a staff member from Florence or Rome and a colleague from one of the six Dutch universities that participate in financing the Dutch Institutes in Florence and Rome: RUG, UvA, RU, VU, UL and UU. The program is monitored by a group of art historians and historians from these universities.

English and Italian (language training and source reading)

Course readings
Information will follow.

Target group and admission

The course is open to a maximum of 10-12 selected 3rd year BA students from NIKI and KNIR partner universities (Universiteit van Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Universiteit Leiden, Universiteit Utrecht, Radboud Universiteit, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen). Applicants have obtained a minimum of 90 ECTS by the time of application and 120 ECTS by the time of the start of the program. A committee of art historians and historians from the six Dutch universities affiliated with the NIKI and the KNIR, together with staff members from the two institutes will carry out the selection of candidates. To each of the separate courses in this Minor, another 4 students can be admitted who do not take part in the Minor Program as a whole.

Course format and assignments

The course is organized by and hosted at the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence (NIKI) and the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR). It consists of five intensive seminars of ten days to two weeks each, with lectures, on-site visits and discussions. Active participation of the participants is required. Assignments consist of a language test, translations, oral (on-site) presentations and essays. The time in between courses students will dedicate to the reading laboratory and preparatory research or the concluding essay.

Credits and assessment

This minor comprises 30 ECTS and consists of 6 components: 4 seminars of 6 EC each, one Italian language course of 3 EC, and one final paper of 3 EC (to be written in January, following the stay in Florence and Rome).

Tuition and lodging in Florence and Rome at the NIKI and KNIR is free for selected participants from the above-mentioned Dutch universities. Personal expenses, including meals, are not included. Students receive a €100 reimbursement of their expenses for traveling to Florence and from Rome after submission of their final essay; also the transportation from Florence to Rome is covered by the two institutes.

Facilities in Florence and Rome
All participants will be housed at the Dutch University Institute for Art History in Florence and the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, respectively. From both institutes, it is only a short walk to the historical city centers. The NIKI and KNIR accommodation consists of shared bedrooms (max. 2 per room) and bathrooms, and includes a living and dining space, a kitchen, washing machine, and wireless internet. All residents have 24/7 access to the library and gardens of both institutes.

Apply before
1 May 2021 via the link below, submitting a motivation letter, a recent C.V. and an updated overview of study results. Applicants will be notified by May 15 whether they have been selected or not.

More info
E-mail: niki@nikiflorence.org and/or secretary@knir.it
Phone: (+39)055221612 and/or (+39)063269621