Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Ross King

photo of Ross King

Dr. Ross King is the best-selling author of books on Italian, French and Canadian art and history. Among his books are Brunelleschi’s Dome (2000), Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling (2002), and Leonardo and The Last Supper (2012). His study of the origins of French Impressionism, The Judgement of Paris, was published in 2006. He has also published a biography of Niccolò Machiavelli and edited a collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s fables, jokes, and riddles. He is the co-author with Anja Grebe of Florence: The Paintings & Frescoes, 1250-1743 (2015), the most comprehensive (and probably the heaviest) book ever undertaken on the art of Florence.

His latest book, Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies published in September 2016, marks his return to French Impressionism ten years after his award-wining The Judgement of Paris.

Ross serves on the Council of Academic Advisors for Friends of Florence, the fund-raising charity ensuring the survival of Florence’s art and architectural treasures. He has participated in numerous Friends of Florence study tours throughout Italy, including in Rome, Assisi, and Milan. He is a regular participant in the Italian Renaissance seminars at the Aspen Institute, including programmes on Giotto, St. Francis, and Dante. He has appeared in a number of television documentaries, such as The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance (PBS, 2003), Raphael: A Mortal God (BBC, 2004), The Great Cathedral Mystery (Nova, 2014), and Florence’s Invisible City (BBC, 2016).

He has lectured in many American museums, including the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Frick Collection, and the National Gallery of Art. When not traveling for work or pleasure, he lives near Oxford, in England, with his wife Melanie.

Upcoming Tours

Highlights of Italy

16 days | Starting at: $5,095
Oct 8, 2018 - Oct 23, 2018
Apr 13, 2019 - Apr 28, 2019
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The Genius of Leonardo da Vinci

8 days | Starting at: $4,995
Mar 23, 2019 - Mar 30, 2019
Nov 9, 2019 - Nov 16, 2019

Celebrating 500 Years
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Southern France

13 days | Starting at: $5,297
Sep 16, 2019 - Sep 28, 2019

Featuring Languedoc, the Pyrénées, and Provence
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