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ARTH 364 Renaissance Art & Architecture

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2:45pm - 5:15pm
  • EV 1.605
  • Instructor: Braden Scott

In 1550, while describing the revival of the ancient Mediterranean in the art and architecture of thirteenth- to sixteenth-century Italy, the artist, architect, and biographer Giorgio Vasari used the term rinascita, or “rebirth.” Referred to as the Renaissance by modern scholars, the period from around 1300-1600 is identified by an unmistakable reanimation—a bringing back to life—of antiquity in art, architecture, and intellectual pursuits. The aim of this course is to provide students with the historical contexts around the notable works from the period that afforded Vasari and later historians the ability to describe them as belonging to a Renaissance. Although emphasis is placed on artefacts and buildings that engage directly with the reanimation of antiquity, the overarching goal of the course is to also deliver a chronological survey of key works from the Renaissance and their historical contexts. We will venture beyond the Italian peninsula and explore the spread of antiquarianism across Europe, devoting part of our time to art and architecture in The Netherlands, Germany, England, Spain, and the Americas. Along the way, students will also read some newer scholarship that challenges the very idea of "the Renaissance" as a temporal and stylistic category. Amid what promises to be compelling conversations, students will develop a vocabulary that is crucial to the art of describing, comparing, and conducting formal analyses, while also paying close attention to critical art historical concepts, old and new, that debate key terms such as imitation, influence, history, process, and style.

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