HISTART 250-001

Italian Renaissance Art

T Th 1:00pm - 2:30 PM
4 Credit Lecture

Cross-listed with MEMS 250

This course, featuring the work of Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael and others, explores the artistic tradition in Italy between the years of 1300–1550. Why was this period, the Renaissance, called a "rebirth"—a rebirth of what? How did artists become so famous, producing works like the Mona Lisa and the Sistine Chapel that are still widely known today?

The objective of this course is to shed light on the factors that supported new developments in visual art and architecture during this period. These include the demands of powerful and varied patrons—from merchants to popes, princes to monastic orders—and a fascination with both the ancient world and the natural world. We will think critically about institutions and individuals motivated to commission these works.

Through field trips, interactive assignments, and in-class discussions, this class will equip you with the knowledge to develop an informed take on the material. Class topics include: gender and the body, materials and making, art and plague epidemics, domestic life, and rivals and allies.

Course Readings: Available through Canvas. There is no textbook.

Course Requirements: Written "looking assignment" paper based on a work of art in UMMA, ~1,500-1,700 words (25%); in-class essay midterm (30%); take-home essay final (30%); attendance, section participation, and submission of reading outlines (15%)

Intended Audience: All interested undergraduates; there are no prerequisites

Estimated cost of materials: $0

Class format: Two 80-minute lectures per week and one 50-minute discussion section per week

HISTART Distribution Requirements: Europe and the US, Early Modern

Keywords: art, Italy, Renaissance, visual culture

Fulfills LSA Humanities Requirements