Special Topics: Visual Splendor in Medieval and Renaissance Courts
TTh 10:00am-1:00pm
G-026 Tisch
3 Credit Seminar

This course fulfills the History of Art seminar requirement. Exempt from guild regulations and working under the supervision of royal and aristocratic patrons, medieval and renaissance court artists produced some of the most innovative artwork of the period. Court patrons had the financial means to commission impressive pieces in costly materials by well-known artists and to create an ambience in which inventiveness was valued. Focusing primarily on art produced in France, Italy, and the Low Countries in the fourteenth and fifteenth century, this course will examine how this visual splendor functioned within the social institution of the court. Topics include the function of magnificence in courtly culture, the place of art objects in pageantry and spectacle, the role of portraiture, customs of gift exchange, practices of art collecting, and the relationship between artist and patron in the courtly milieu. We will also discuss the rise of "good manners" and the development of a visual culture surrounding the ideals of courtly love. This course is appropriate for all levels and no prerequisites are required.

Estimated cost of materials; $50 or more, but less than $100. D. 2,3