About the Renaissance Retreat

Join me for an enchanting getaway in Tuscany or Umbria to paint from life, be it portraiture, still-life or landscape.

If you are enthusiastic about oil painting, and are a beginner or advanced painter in pursuit of adventure and community in an exotic Italian setting, then the Renaissance Retreat might be the experience you are looking for.

Time not painting is dedicated to special activities enjoyed by all painters and accompanying family/companions which, depending upon the venue, may include: learning to make pasta, learning to make cheese, tasting nationally and internationally-awarded wines,  swimming in glorious outdoor pools, exploring mysteries of the castle or hamlet, strolling through vineyards and gardens, discovering the secrets of the surrounding valleys and forests, or visits to neighboring historic cities like Siena, Spoleto, Assisi or Todi.

The maximum number of Painting Participants is 8 per retreat.

The maximum number total–Painting Participants + Non-Painting Companions–depends on the location.


In Tuscany

In Umbria

Click the Retreat that interests you for all details, including the overall program, room choices and cost.

Note: pricing may not be current, but it will at least give you an idea.

Should none of the above dates work for you and your group, Custom Retreats are possible.  Please contact me using the Questions form below for inquiries.

—Timothy Joseph Allen
Your Painting Teacher and Renaissance Retreat Organizer

Upcoming Retreats

Recommended Hotels in Rome

We strongly recommended you arrive in Rome at least a day before the transfer from Rome to the location.

Good hotels in Rome vary depending upon your budget and desired location, but here are some suggestions:

  • LeClarisse a Trastevere: a hotel right next to the PADASOR studios.  Trastevere is a lovely pedestrian area and just a hop, skip and a jump (and bridge-crossing) to the city center and locations like the Pantheon and Piazza Navona
  • Palazzo Manfredi: a high-end hotel with a spectacular view of the Colosseum.
  • Grand Hotel Tiberio: located in an area of Rome called Balduina. To visit the city center from there you would want to take a taxi; to visit the Vatican museums or St. Peter’s, it’s about a 20-minute walk.

Video Highlights from the October, 2019 Retreat

Video Highlights from Past Retreats

Meet the Painter and Organizer, Timothy Joseph Allen

Tim working on a portrait in his studio in Rome.

Greetings! My name is Tim.  I’ve been a figurative painter since 1992, I’ve lived in Italy since 1998, I’ve taught at The American University of Rome since 2006, and I have managed and directed my own painting school in Rome–The Painting and Drawing Art Studio of Rome–since 2010.

I’ve been doing these Retreats since the Spring of 2018.  They are truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I hope to see you in Tuscany or Umbria!


For more about Tim and his paintings, please visit his website.


“The Retreat and the Renaissance portrait painting course totally exceeded expectations. The ‘devils in the detail’ they say. Tim went to outstanding lengths to ensure the ‘studio’ was equipped with everything we would need and with every comfort. Each morning two gorgeous life models greeted us in the most impressive authentic renaissance costumes and Tim would begin the session with a demonstration and continue with help to each and all.”

“An experience I will never forget and a trip of a lifetime… As I never had the opportunity to study art at a university level I feel that after what Tim has taught me I have confidence to produce more professional paintings.”

“Timothy Allen knows Renaissance art: with intelligence and humour he inspires his students to paint from life, fortified by the fabulous food and wine of the Castello.”

“The Renaissance Retreat was an experience of a lifetime. The castle setting was perfectly conducive to learning the techniques of the Masters under Tim’s excellent instruction and inimitable flair. It was immensely satisfying to see the quality of work achieved in such a short time.”

“I’m still in awe that I had this experience of a life time. If you have the opportunity to take advantage and make it a reality, I can highly recommend it.”

“The Renaissance Retreat didn’t just meet my expectations, but exceeded them.”

“If you are looking for an intensive and rewarding painting experience set in a storybook landscape, look no further than Art Studio Rome’s Renaissance Retreat.”

“Tim offers a week of learning to paint from a model and en plein air in a Renaissance style. That is the focus of the week, and it is an intense learning experience. I went to sleep at night thinking about what I would do next with my painting, and woke to thumb through photos of paintings by the Italian masters. Tim is a great instructor, and led us through the process of slowly building a painting. We had an excellent, lovely model and a beautiful setting for the backdrop to our developing portraits.”

“The Renaissance Retreat was one of the highlights of my life, especially for two of my passions: painting and food.”

“I will never forget this magical experience.”

“This painting retreat exceeded my expectations.”

Questions about the Retreat?

Please send us any questions you may have using the Questions form below and we’ll be happy to reply as soon as possible.

If you have any trouble with the form above, please send a message via WhatsApp: +39 347 263 1033.

Oil Painting: The Portrait in a Landscape – What Can You Expect to Learn?

7 days work on a painting really isn’t that long, especially for a workshop intent on leveraging the full scope of oil painting: an oil sketch, underpainting, glazes, scumbles, etc..  However, there are ways to move things along in order to accommodate such a robust and ambitious endeavor, while also making it possible for you to have a sense of what steps could be taken in the future.

Working from a live model, our primary considerations will be:

  • Composition – setting the placement and scale of the subject within the landscape
  • Likeness – what does it mean to achieve a likeness in a portrait and what are the best strategies to do so?
  • Light –  management of light in connection to the specific subjects vs. management of light of the whole (the light pattern).
  • Glazes and Scumbles – how to use them and how each affects volume, space and atmosphere.

Time-Lapse Video of Process from May, 2019

Time-Lapse Video of Process from May, 2018