Join me for an enchanting seven-day getaway at the La Moscadella, an historic Tuscan structure originally built as a monastery in the 16th century, to paint from life with the goal of creating an oil portrait in a landscape as exemplified in many Renaissance portraits.
All of our time with the model is spent inside our studio in the original library of monastery, while several afternoons will be spent painting en plein air the background landscape that we’ll put behind the model.
If you are enthusiastic about portraiture and landscape as a subject, and are a beginner or advanced painter in pursuit of adventure and community, this is THE workshop for you!
Time not painting is dedicated to special activities enjoyed by all painters and accompanying family/companions: learning to cook, tasting wines, swimming in the glorious outdoor pool, exploring the mysteries of the monastery, strolling through the gardens and discovering the secrets of the surrounding valley and the neighboring medieval town, Castelmuzio.
The next Renaissance Retreat at La Moscadella will be:
The maximum number of Painting Participants is 7 per retreat.
The maximum number total–Painting Participants + Non-Painting Companions–is 16 per retreat.
Should none of the above dates work for you and your group, Custom Retreats are possible. Please contact me using the Questions form for details.
For any and all questions that you don’t find an answer to on this web page, please use the Questions form to contact me or send a message via WhatsApp: +39 347 263 1033.
—Timothy Joseph Allen
Your Painting Teacher and Renaissance Retreat Organizer
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 the Renaissance Retreats now for over two years. There is nothing quite like it: the locations, the landscapes, the people, the food, the wine and the painting all combine for an extraordinary experience.
I hope you’ll join me in Tuscany at La Moscadella!
For more about Tim and his paintings, please visit his website.
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.
La Moscadella, a former monastery in the countryside near Castelmuzio, is Isabella Barlocher’s latest project or shall we say “labor of love”.
This historic Tuscan structure was originally built as a monastery in the 16th century. In 2013 Isabella purchased it and with passion and patience has overseen a remarkable renovation.
Each of the rooms and common areas pay homage to traditional Tuscan style, while incorporating modern Italian design and flair. It is charm, elegance, comfort, and ease rolled into one.
The combination of Tuscan antiques, modern furnishings, and beautiful art will introduce you to her sense of tradition and love of eye-pleasing esthetics. They serve to please, educate, and offer a window on life in Tuscany.
La Cucina is a farm to table restaurant, which means our ingredients are produced locally, and seasonally fresh. Fresh herbs are used from our organic, on-site herb garden. You are guaranteed home-grown clarity of flavors that are true to the season.
Authentic Tuscan Dishes with a Gourmet Twist
Meals at La Cucina, prepared by our exceptional Chef Giancarlo, are works of art for the palate and the eye. His mastery of Tuscan cooking combined with his own creativity results in scrumptious tastes with a delightful “twist” you’ll not find anywhere else. Everything is made in-house including all pastas, breads, and desserts.
Excellent Table Service and Wait Staff
In addition to our excellent chef, we have excellent and friendly wait staff who are delighted to take care of your dining pleasures and needs. They are caring and attentive, and welcome your special requests.
Special Dietary Needs Accommodated
Please let us know if you desire vegetarian options or are gluten-intolerant.
Learn to Make Pasta and Dine with Michelin-Star Chef Roberto Rossi
Friday evening is a special pasta-making lesson with renowned Chef Roberto Rossi. Coming to us from his restaurant, il Silene, in Pescina, he will delight you with his cooking prowess and Italian charm.
Wine Tasting at the Brunello Winery
Nostra Vita is a tiny, family-owned estate that produces Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino wine. Nothing at Nostra Vita is a result of mass production. Everything is done with passion by Annibale Parisi and his wife, Elena, and their daughters. This is an extraordinary opportunity to meet a family of dedicated wine makers.
Dine in Pienza, the Ideal City, and Visit a Private Archeological Site Called the “Romitorio”
Pienza – the City of Pius. This pleasant city, situated in Val D’Orcia’s heart (near Siena, in Tuscany), is considered to be the incarnation of a Renaissance utopia and an ideal city. Having obtained recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, today it continues to show off to the world its refined and sophisticated Renaissance urban plan: its spaces and perspective onto its 15th-Century piazzas and palazzi are organized according to the era’s ideals of rationality and humanism. – from the Italian Agency of Tourism website. Read more about Pienza.
The “Romitorio”, which belongs to the Moricciani family, was first built as an Etruscan tomb. In the Middle Ages it was used as a hermitage. In World War II it was used for hiding and protecting the partisans.