Art History 337

Fifteenth-Century Italian Renaissance Art


Course Description

A Wedding Procession to the Baptistery of Florence. 15th Century. Florence, Bargello.

Course Requirements
Lecture Schedule
Monument List
On the Paper
Web Sites and other Sources
News about Italian Renaissance Art
Vasari's Lives of the Artists
Sources for Florence
Movies of Italian Renaissance or Baroque Appeal

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The course will explore the painting, sculpture, and architecture of the Renaissance in Italy during the period circa 1400 to 1500.

Our course will begin with the artistic developments in Florence under the early Medici, that is, from Cosimo Pater Patriae to Lorenzo il Magnifico. We will also consider the arts in Venice, Rome, and some of the smaller court city-states. We will be interested in subjects such as the artists within and without the circle of Medici and other types of patronage; the revival of papal patronage; new palace design and efforts in urban development; the rise of villas and their culture; the rise of humanism and its influence on the arts.



Prerequisites: Theoretically, the Art History a Western Civilization course. In reality, nothing but interest in the subject and the willingness to do the work and participate in class. Those with no art historical background are strongly advised to read over the relevant sections of any of the standard art history survey texts.

Texts:  Hartt and Wilkins. History of Italian Renaissance Art
5th ed., 2003. Michael Baxandall. Painting and Experience in Fifteenth Century Italy. 1972, 1988.

We will also use separate readings from books and articles.

The Exams: There will be two exams: a midterm and a final. The midterm and final each will consist of essay questions.

The Paper: The paper is to be on an object or monument of your choice. I will make up a list of suggestions which you can also use. We will talk more about this in class. This will be a semi-research paper; the length should be about 10-15 pages. Remember that you will earn writing credit for this course.

Please note that the readings and the schedule as currently listed may have to be adjusted due to circumstances beyond our control.



How to Do Well in this Class: The history of art is a cumulative subject; the material cannot be crammed in an overnight session before the exam. Do the reading before coming to class; learn to take notes from the lectures; go over your notes and your reading periodically. Take advantage of the Web site! Visit local museums, and galleries. Surf the Net for artists and related topics (more on that in class).

Students who enroll in this class are assumed to have read and understood the provisions on this Web site and the hard-copy syllabus concerning especially attendence, cheating, and comportment.

The Web Site: This is located at: Please refer to this frequently.

Disabilities Services: The University promotes equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities. If you have a documented disability and need assistance in any part of the course, please notify me and make an appointment immediately with the Disability Resource Center. Please note that I will need a letter from the Disability Resource Center in order to accomodate your situation.

Finally: Please note that the instructor does not believe, as did the Old Man of the Mountain, "Everything not forbidden is permitted." Common sense and courtesy determine course and student conduct.

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