Art History 441

Florence and the Medici

On the Paper

On the Paper
The Master of the L.A..
Lanckoronski Annunciation. 1445/1450.
San Francisco, Museum of the Legion of Honor
Course Description
Course Requirements
Florence News
Lectures and Web sites
Reserve Items and Some Web Sites
News about Italian Renaissance Art
Vasari's Lives of the Artists
Sources for Florence

On the Paper

Basic Perimeters and Some Suggestions

Some Preliminary Ideas

Online Resources

Due Dates, etc

Paper Topics for Undergraduates and Graduates

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Basic Perimeters

Each student enrolled in the course will complete a paper, the type to be determined by the student's level of enrollment. Those who are taking this as undergraduates will write a "state of research" survey of a particular subject, to result in a paper of about ten pages. Suggestions are listed below. Those who take this class as graduates will write a more in-depth paper on a subject, to result in a paper of 15 to 20 pages. This paper will incorporate the "state of research" survey as part of the completion of a more developed treatment of the chosen topic. Those topics listed below can most likely be pursued satisfactorily by students who do not know Italian. Please note that these are only (considered) suggestions. If you have other ideas, or if you can handle Italian, please come see me.

Suggested topics for 441:

One basic idea would be to take a particular work of art, such as Donatello's David(s) or one of Botticelli's paintings and trace its history and critical fortune. Questions to answer would include: How much to we really know about this object? What is its factual history? What problems does it seem to pose, or answer? What is the critical history of the object? How have (selected) art historians considered and evaluated the object? What do art historians think is significant about the object in terms of the larger history of art and of Florence? This kind of topic and approach would probably be appropriate for most 410 students, and could be adequately explored in a paper of about ten pages.

Suggested Topics for Graduates:

Students at the graduate level may also look at one work of art, but you will do this in the context of producing an in-depth consideration. A list of other ideas is below. Whichever you choose, your paper will use the "state of research" survey as a preliminary paper, whose results will be summarized and integrated into a more personal interpretation of the subject. Questions to explore include: What does the object tell us about the artist, the patron, Florentine art and culture? What problems for further exploration are opened here?
Some Preliminary Ideas:

Fifteenth-century Topics (more or less)  

Sixteenth-century topics

Online Resources

Due Dates for each part of the Paper

There will be three parts to each paper:

  1. A preliminary description of the subject to be explored;
  2. An annotated bibliography of the most relevant sources;
  3. The completed paper

    Each part will have its own due date. [To be added.]

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