Introduction to Italian Renaissance Art/ The Italian Renaissance
This new 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.
A major resource for this course is Stephen J. Campbell and Michael W. Cole: Italian Renaissance Art, London (Thames & Hudson) 2011 [ISBN 978-0-500-28943-3].
The book has been ordered to be available at the beginning of the term as paperback edition at the Cal Student Store, 2470 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94704. It is also available as a digital ebook at reduced rates. There are three options for purchasing the ebook with digital access ranging from 180 days to 360 days and device-lifetime access (for more information see http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?ID=24553; for support see W. W. Norton’s help desk at http://books.wwnorton.com/books/helpcontent.aspx?id=4625).
Other readings will be made available electronically and in hardcopy during class when applicable.