Broadcast: News items

Alumni exclusive: Experience the riches of Rome with Professor Maurice Howard, OBE

Students on the Art History trip to Rome

The University of Sussex’s Department of Art History is delighted to invite you to immerse yourself in the Eternal City’s architectural wonders and marvel at some of the most significant works of art ever produced, all in the company of distinguished Art History Professor, Maurice Howard.

Limited to only 20 guests, this unique two-day excursion will take place on Thursday 19 and Friday 20 March 2020.

Maurice’s tour will focus on the theme of painted and architectural illusion during the Renaissance and the Baroque period in Rome.

On day one, guests will spend the morning examining the development of painted and surface illusion, visiting Santa Maria sopra Minerva to look at the frescoed chapel by Filippino Lippi, the spectacular vault of the church of Sant'Ignazio, the Palazzo Spada, and the frescoed interior of the Villa Farnesina, attributed to Raphael, Peruzzi and Sebastiano del Piombo.

On day two, guests will consider how spatial illusion is created and employed as a setting for sculpture in the interiors of churches, including Michelangelo’s Santa Maria degli Angeli (within the ancient Baths of Diocletian), Santa Maria della Vittoria (where Bernini's 'St Teresa' resides), Borromini’s San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, and Bernini’s San Andrea al Quirinale.

Both days will also include private visits to sites not always accessible to the public.

An alumni reception will round off this very special tour of the captivating and awe-inspiring city of Rome.

Maurice Howard, OBE, is Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Sussex. He is a former President of the Society of Antiquaries of London and of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. He taught the arts of Renaissance and Baroque Europe for many years and is a veteran of the annual Art History study trip to Italy for undergraduates – participating in 24 of the past 38 expeditions.

Since 1981, more than a thousand Sussex students have benefited from visits to Florence, Venice or Rome. The annual study trip has proved to be a defining experience for them, and visiting Italy with its wealth of art and architecture, spanning from the classical to the contemporary, has been a fundamental part of their learning. However, in recent years, the full cost of taking part has become a significant financial burden for many.

All proceeds from this two-day cultural extravaganza will go towards supporting the annual Art History study trip, so please do book your place to join us. Your support will help ensure that this incredible educational adventure does not lie out of reach for future generations of Sussex Art Historians.

Date: Thursday 19 – Friday 20 March 2020

Number of places: 20

Cost: £500

What’s included:
Wednesday 18 March (mid-evening) – Welcome dinner with Maurice and fellow alumni.
Thursday 19 March – Curated, thematic walking tour with Maurice part one (4hrs). Evening free.
Friday 20 March – Tour with Maurice part two (4hrs). Reception at 4pm (venue to be announced). Guests will have the opportunity to meet with current Sussex Art History students as well as locally based alumni at the reception.
Entrance fees.

What’s not included:
Transport to/from Rome.
Public transport in the city.
Accommodation (we will provide a list of recommended hotels).
Food, drinks and snacks during the trip.

To secure your place on this very special excursion please complete this online booking form.

Contact Mary Connolly at if you require further information.


From the dome of St. Peter’s one can see every notable object in Rome… a panorama that is varied, extensive, beautiful to the eye, and more illustrious in history than any other in Europe.
– Mark Twain

By: Emma Wigmore
Last updated: Monday, 6 January 2020