Treat yourself to something really special!

Journey in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest artists and writers. .

Our unique and personalised creative journeys in the footsteps of some of history’s greatest artists and writers take place each year during the months of May and June, and September and October. Our guides are all art historians, practising artists, professional writers, and photographers. Each brings a wealth of knowledge not only about the fascinating characters embodied in these artists and writers, but also about the regions we visit. And our journeys are based in just one or two comfortable locations without the need to continually pack and unpack every day.

To keep things personalised, we limit our group sizes to just eight people. We meet and greet you at the airport, handle your luggage, and take good care of you along the way. When your journey is over, we deliver you safely and on time to your departure point. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are included, as well as all accommodation and local ground transportation. We even throw in wine with evening meals. And while our 12-day journeys are about specific artists, we offer 5-day add-on trips to intriguing locations that add cultural value to your journey as a whole.

The Netherlands

Johanna: The Other Van Gogh
A New Perspective on the Life of the Inimitable Vincent

12 nights in the Netherlands

"First Steps" by Vincent van Gogh

Following the success of their highly acclaimed book Van Gogh’s Untold Journey, author William J. Havlicek and publisher David A. Glen take you on a truly captivating 12-day journey inside the remarkable life of Vincent van Gogh through the eyes of Johanna van Gogh-Bonger, his sister-in-law, without whom little of the inimitable artist would ever have been known. This well-researched story—the subject of a new book by Havlicek and Glen—has never before been told with any adequacy. And it gives Theo, Vincent’s devoted brother, suitable recognition for the significant part he played in ensuring the legacy of Vincent van Gogh’s genius.

After the deaths of Vincent and Theo, Johanna undertook the awesome task of preserving that legacy—one that is virtually unmatched in the history of art—for she became keeper and advocate of Vincent’s immense collection of paintings, sketches, and illustrations. Moreover, she was to preserve and chronicle over 520 hand-written letters (eventually more than 900 would come to light) without which we would never have come to understand the devoted relationship and interdependency Vincent had with his brother Theo, nor the remarkable beneficence that lay at the very core of the Van Gogh family as a whole. Most importantly, we would never have come to know the uncommon genius that was Vincent van Gogh.

This fascinating story also depicts in rich detail the various characters with whom Johanna was involved. Not the least of these was her husband Theo. The two, despite their brief time together, were very much in love. And Vincent’s constant presence in their lives—and his financial dependency on Theo—might have nettled a lesser person. Yet Johanna had a fondness for Vincent that is evident in her own letters and diary. His genius, in her eyes, was never to diminish.

After Theo’s death, Johanna was not only left with the task of promoting the inimitable Vincent and his work; she was also left with a baby boy, also named Vincent Willem van Gogh, later known as “The Engineer”. It was he who was to forge the foundation that today administers the considerable collection of paintings, drawings, and letters that comprise the Van Gogh Collection in the museum in Amsterdam.

This journey takes us to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterloo (which houses the second-largest collection of Van Gogh paintings and drawings), other regional museums featuring Van Gogh’s work, and locations that have changed little since Vincent’s time.

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Spain

The Cultural Influences of the Spanish Masters
From El Greco & Goya to Sorolla & Picasso

12 nights in Madrid, Spain

"Lunch on the Boat" by Joaquin Sorolla

This 12-night journey is based in Madrid, Spain, and focuses on four of the great Spanish masters—El Greco, Goya, Sorolla, and Picasso. Participants learn how artists such as El Greco and Goya absorbed the cultural influences of their time, and in turn had an impact on Picasso’s Cubist vision and Sorolla’s brilliance. Participants are also shown how iconic American painter Thomas Eakins experienced a life-changing artistic transformation after studying the Spanish masters exhibited in the renowned Prado Museum. A discussion of contemporary surrealists such as Dali demonstrates just why the art of the Spanish masters is timeless and ever ripe for reinterpretation.

El Greco (Circa 1541 – April 7, 1614 ). El Greco was born Domenikos Theotokopoulos, around 1541 in Crete, which was then part of the Republic of Venice. In his mid-twenties, he traveled to Venice and studied under Titian, who was the most renowned painter of his day. Around age 35, he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life, producing his best-known paintings. His works from this period are seen as precursors of both Expressionism and Cubism. He is remembered chiefly for his elongated, tortured figures, often religious in nature, the style of which baffled his contemporaries but helped establish his reputation in the years to come.

Francisco de Goya (March 30, 1746 – April 16, 1828). A famed painter in his own lifetime, Francisco de Goya was born on March 30, 1746, in Fuendetodos, Spain. He began his art studies as a teenager and even spent time in Rome, Italy, to advance his skills. In 1770s, Goya began to work for Spanish royal court. In addition to his commissioned portraits of the nobility, he created works that criticized the social and political problems of his era.

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (February 27, 1863 – August 10, 1923) was a Spanish painter who was born in Valencia. He excelled in the painting of portraits, landscapes, and monumental works of social and historical themes. His most typical works are characterized by a dexterous representation of the people and landscape under the sunlight of his native land. Sorolla’s widow left a large collection of his paintings to the people of Spain. The collection is now a museum, the Museo Sorolla, in the artist’s house in Madrid which we visit.

Pablo Picasso (October 25, 1881 – April 8, 1973). Born in Málaga, Spain, in 1881, Pablo Picasso, became one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century and the creator (with Georges Braque) of Cubism. A Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and stage designer, Picasso was considered radical in his work. After a long prolific career, he died on April 8, 1973, in Mougins, France. The enormous body of Picasso’s work remains, however, and the legend lives on—a tribute to the vitality of the “disquieting” Spaniard with the “sombrepiercing” eyes who superstitiously believed that work would keep him alive. For nearly 80 of his 91 years, Picasso devoted himself to an artistic production that contributed significantly to—and paralleled the entire development of—modern art in the 20th century.

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What IS included . . .

  • We personally meet and greet you on arrival at our specified airport.
  • Ground transportation by road from the airport to our hotel or residence.
  • All accommodation. Prices are per person for double occupancy (sharing with another person). Add 20% for single occupancy (a room by yourself).
  • Breakfast and dinner with complimentary wine. Plus a packed lunch every day.
  • Fees for trip leaders, historians, and lecturers.
  • Museum entrance fees for our specified museums and parks.
  • Return ground transportation by road to your departure airport.
  • All local taxes.

What’s NOT included . . .

  • Airfares are NOT included.
  • Visa fees or customs duties.
  • Items of a personal nature such as local purchases, gifts, toiletries, etc.
  • Tips or other gratuities.
  • Taxi fares or any transportation costs other than specified as included.
  • Alcoholic or soft drinks other than wine provided with evening meals.
  • Trip/travel insurance is NOT included in our pricing. We highly recommend that you obtain travel insurance before you leave to cover most unforeseen eventualities and circumstances. We recommend visiting InsureMyTrip.com for a comparison of various plans.