Art History 337

Fifteenth-Century Italian Renaissance Art

On the Midterm


Cathedral of Florence, 11th century
Course Description
Course Requirements
Lecture Schedule
On the Paper
The Monuments List
Web Sites and other Sources
News about Italian Renaissance Art
Vasari's Lives of the Artists
Sources for Florence


On the Midterm

The Midterm is October 11

The Midterm and the Final will use the same format. You will be given 3 questions from which you will choose two to prepare and one to write up in class during the Midterm. You will work up the two essays from any sources you deem useful to compose your own, individual responses. Please note the importance of the last three words of that sentence. You may use any of the resources on reserve, even if they have not been used in class. Now would be a good time to start reading Vasari, for example. You may cite individual authors if you wish, and in fact one of the ideas of this essay is that you will demonstrate your own thoughtful reading, but be sure to indicate your sources.

For the Midterm, you will come into class with two essay topics prepared, as indicated above. You will be given a piece of paper with two of the three questions; you will not know in advance which two of the three will be listed. You will select one of the two listed for your essay. Your essay will need to be 5-6 bluebook pages long; the bluebooks will be provided. When your essay is completed, you will hand it in with the test paper. If you do not present the test paper with the essay you will not receive credit for the exam.

Midterm Questions

Now is the appropriate time.

  1. Vasari's Lives of Brunelleschi and Ghiberti give very different interpretations of what happened during the competition for the second set of bronze doors for the Baptistery of Florence. Discuss these and, using your knowledge of the artists, make a case for what you think really happened. (You might want to consider how other sculptural programs of the period seem to have been organized.)
    There really is a big difference between saying that the two artists might have worked together--and that of course they worked separately. Look at the personnel named as being involved, and you might even read on to see what happened when Ghiberti "worked" with Brunelleschi on the Dome.
  2. Consider the styles of Masaccio and Fra Angelico. How are they influenced by their patrons, by artistic traditions and their own personal status?
    Think about who they worked for, their evident artistic ambitions, their use of color, form, and perspective.
  3. Discuss the architectural styles and apparent ambitions of Brunelleschi and Michelozzo. (Remember Vasari!) You may wish to consider such subjects as the influences of traditional Florentine architecture, ancient architecture, use of decoration, and patronage.

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