Visit Jason in Florence
Due to the fact that Jason Arkles cannot stop talking about sculpture, he has been a sought-after guide in Florence for several years, leading tours of some of Florence’s most important sites for sculptors for the British Institute of Florence’s History of Art Department. Although he’s not an officially registered tour guide and so cannot offer ‘professional’ private guided tours, he’s put together a few itineraries which you will find below, and is very open to creating custom tours following the wishes and interests of his friends, followers and clients. If you are coming to Florence and want to meet Jason, tour his studio, or take a walk with Jason around some of his favorite places, simply email Jason here.
Early Renaissance tour
Half day (Three hours)
This itinerary includes a visit to Orsanmichele, the Baptistery, and the Museo Del Opera Del Duomo (the Duomo museum is one of the best in town and rich with sculpture history, but not as famous at the Uffizi or Accademia). These sites focus on the beginnings of the renaissance and the evolution that sculpture went through at the time, through to the end of the 'Early' Renaissance. So, everyone up to Michelangelo, including Donatello, Andrea Pisano, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Nanni Di Banco, Verrocchio, and more.
High Renaissance Tour
Half Day (Three hours)
Another solid half day would be the Bargello Museum, followed by Piazza Signoria and then the Medici Chapel. (Really, the Bargello is a must see no matter what). In the Bargello you get a solid sampling of early Renaissance stuff not seen on the 'early renaissance' tour, such as the competition panels for the baptistery by Ghiberti and Brunelleschi, Donatello's David, Luca Della Robbia, and more; plus, some early works by Michelangelo including his Pitti Tondo and the Bacchus, and fantastic examples of the generation after Michelangelo known as the Mannerists - Cellini, Baccio Bandinelli, Ammannati, and Giambologna. In The Piazza you’ll see the masterworks of these artists, like the Rape of a Sabine by Giambologna, Cellini's Perseus, and more. At the Medici chapel you will be in a small room surrounded by more Michelangelo sculpture in one room than anywhere on earth. Powerful stuff.
A chance to see something few tourists ever see - the inside of a working sculptor’s studio. Located in a prestigious Renaissance Palazzo on the banks of the Arno river across from the Uffizi Museum, Jason’s studio is a showcase of not only his work (which is not for sale in any gallery in the world except in his own), but also a showcase of the tools, materials, and techniques of a sculptor working in traditional methods. Visitors will have the opportunity to try their hand at carving marble, see firsthand how figures are modeled, molded, and cast, and best of all, hear Jason’s explanation of his work, his method, and his thoughts on sculpture generally. The studio visit is a favorite of fans of The Sculptor’s Funeral Podcast - it’s a bit like having your very own episode. Ask Jason anything.