50: The Italian Renaissance: Introduction to Italian Renaissance Art

MWF 3-4 | 106 Moffitt Library | Instructor: Henrike Christiane Lange

Units: 4 Satisfies L&S Arts & Literature breadth requirement.

This Course is Cross-Listed with History of Art 62, Sec. 1

This survey will present examples from Italian art and literature from circa 1300 to circa 1600 as mirrors and motors of cultural change. Italy will be shown in its unique position between the Northern countries and the Mediterranean, allowing for porous borders of forms and contents in visual and textual media. One main focus will lay on the artistic exchange in centers such as Venice and Rome and the courts, another on the experience of the viewers and consumers of the time: What was the function of art? How do specific genres of texts relate to the artistic production? Every lecture will have a thematic core of art objects or theoretical interests, complemented by a short discussion of a related literary genre or example of a contemporary text (excerpts from canti, prayer books, treatises, sonnets, letters, workshop manuals, contracts, legal documents, novelle, lives of Saints and artists, etc.). This structure will allow for students to gain insights into the visual and textual material while developing an understanding for the functions of art and text in a specific historical context.

Prerequisites:  None.  Course and readings are in English.