From Rebirth to Reform: Art and Society in Renaissance Italy

Erin Benay
Fall Semester, 2008
Monday/Wednesday 11:30-12:50
Apple Tree

Phone: 802.254.6214 (home #; no calls after 9:00 pm please)

Syllabus and Policies

o Course Objectives:
There are two main objectives in this course; one is to become familiar with the canon of artistic works of 16th-century Italy and to learn to assess the importance of these works in the history of art. The other objective for this course is to learn different methodological approaches to art history via a diverse sampling of readings. Combining these two objectives will facilitate a more meaningful understanding of the art of the Renaissance and will hone critical thinking skills in the process.

o Structure:
With your help, this course will consist largely of group discussion. Because art of this period is best studied thematically, we will not always follow a strict chronological progression. The powerpoint presentations will be posted on the Courses page for your perusal and study use. You are responsible for knowing all labeled works (including early Renaissance works used for comparison). As is explained below, participation is a key factor in this course, so you must be present (i.e. not just in class, but ready to discuss the readings too) every class meeting. Although this is not a Writing Designated Course, there is a lot of written analysis in this class—both in the form of papers and exams. Please familiarize yourself with the Writer’s Block if you think you might require extra help with writing.

Each Monday I will post a question (both on the Courses page and on the blackboard in class) that frames the material for that week. This will help to guide you in your reading and note taking. The success of this class is very much dependent on your ability to both look and read critically. There are three paper assignments, all of which focus on textual and visual analysis. In addition, each student must assume the role of Discussion Leader once during the semester.

o Policies:
o No unexcused absences! If you need to be absent for any reason, please notify me via email or phone. Each unexcused absence will result in a ¼ letter grade reduction.
o Tardiness is not permitted.
o No cell phones may be on or visible at any time during this course.
o I will use your Marlboro email address. You are responsible for either checking that address or having your mail forwarded to another email account.
o Variable credit and tutorials must be discussed with me within the first week of class or they will not be considered.

o Evaluation:
Your grade in this class will be made up of three parts: your writing assignments, test scores, and participation. The break-down is as follows:

o Participation: 40% (this includes attendance, active discussion of readings and works, and your role as Discussion Leader)
o Reading Response Papers: 40% (3 papers)
o Exams: 20% (Midterm and Final Exams each worth 10%)

The particulars of the Reading Response Papers, the Exams and your role as Discussion Leader will be discussed during the first regularly scheduled class session. If you miss this class for any reason you are unlikely to be considered for entry into the course.

Finally, there is a required group field trip in this course. Attendance is mandatory and details will be discussed during the first weeks of class. Failure to attend will result in the lowering of your participation grade by a half letter grade.

*Students with disabilities or special needs/concerns of any kind should speak to me as soon as possible.

o Required Reading:
Reading assignments should be completed before the class period for which they are due.

o Required Texts: the book for this course is John T. Paoletti and Gary M. Radke, Art in Renaissance Italy (New Jersey: Harry Abrams, Inc). The page numbers below are from the 2nd edition; please do your best to purchase this version rather than the first.

o Additional Readings will be posted on our Courses page (in electronic, printable form). These readings are absolutely NOT optional.

Class Schedule

The following schedule is tentative and will probably change as is necessary. If you are absent for any reason, be sure to check with your peers to be sure that you are up-to-date on the reading assignments and any handouts given during class.

As many of you know, or will soon know, Vermont winters can be quite brutal. If class is canceled for any reason you are still responsible for the readings assigned for that meeting.

P/R = Paoletti & Radke
Courses = an article that is available in digital (i.e. printable) format on the Courses website.

Intro Class, Thursday, September 4th, 1:30

Topic Reading for Next Class
Week 1
Sept. 8th Introduction, The Beginning of the High Renaissance In Florence P/R 362-365, 371-396
Sept. 10th Historical overview, artistic terminology, etc. P/R 397-402; Selections from Emma Barker, The Changing Status of the Artist (Courses)
Week 2
Sept.15th Leonardo: The concept of Artistic Genius Lotz 11, 13-20, 23-25 (Courses)
Sept. 17th Leonardo and Early Michelangelo P/R 402-416
Week 3
Sept. 22nd Humanist Architecture: Bramante K. Weils- Garris Brandt, “Michelangelo’s Pietà for the Cappella del Re di Francia” (Courses)
Sept. 24th Rome in the Age of Julius II: Michelangelo William Wallace, “Michelangelo’s Rome Pietà” (Courses)
Week 4
Sept. 29th Rome in the Age of Julius II: Michelangelo Carlo Pietrangeli, The Sistine Chapel: the Art, the History, and the Restoration (Courses)
Oct. 1st Rome in the Age of Julius II: Michelangelo’s Sistine Ceiling Ingrid Rowland, “The Intellectual Background of the School of Athens.” (Courses)
Week 5
Oct. 6th Rome in the Age of Julius II: Raphael’s Stanze P/R 416-23, Costanza Barbieri, “The Competition Between Raphael and Michelangelo...” (Courses) Read for Oct. 13th
Oct. 8th Mid Term Exam
Week 6
Oct. 13th Rome in the Age of Julius II: Raphael and the Spirit of Competition in the Renaissance Excerpts from Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier (Courses)
Oct. 15th Raphael: Art for the Courtier
First Paper Due P/R 422-24, 425-36 and Alison Cole, Virtue and Magnificence, 160-179 (Courses) For Oct. 22nd
Week 7
Oct. 20th No Class, Hendrick’s Day
Oct. 22nd Art of the Northern Courts P/R 437-463; P/R 464-470
Week 8
Oct. 27th Ducal Florence Sarah McHam, “Public Sculpture in Renaissance Florence” (Courses)
Oct. 29th Florentine Mannerism: Public Sculpture as Propaganda Elizabeth Cropper, “Pontormo and Bronzino in Philadelphia” (Courses)
Week 9
Nov. 3rd Florentine Mannerism: Pontormo and Bronzino P/R 470-72, 476-78, 481-85
Nov. 5th The Myth of Venice Rona Goffen, “Sex, Space, and Social History in Titian’s Venus of Urbino” (Courses)
Week 10
Nov. 10th Titian P/R 486-490, Lotz 83-88 (Courses)
Nov. 12th Tintoretto, Sansovino P/R 492-97, & to-be-assigned
Week 11
Nov. 17th Palladio P/R 500-507, Marcia Hall, After Raphael, 189-98 (Courses)
Nov. 19th Urban Renewal Under Paul III: Michelangelo’s Last Judgment
Paper 2 Due P/R 507-512, Lotz 94-101 (Courses)
Week 12
Nov. 24th Urban Renewal Under Paul III: Michelangelo’s Capitoline Hill
Due date for 3rd Paper reading selections Decrees from the Council of Trent,
*read Session 25 only*
P/R 513-558
Nov. 26th Class Ends at 12:20 for Thanksgiving Recess Veronese at the Inquisition Several primary texts (Courses)
Week 13
Dec. 1st Art During the Council of Trent Draft of 3rd Reading Response Paper due for workshoping on Dec. 3rd
Dec. 3rd Paper 3 Workshop Finalize Paper 3 & reading TBA
Week 14
Dec. 8th Paper 3 due; The end of the Century: Art and Urban Planning under Sixtus V Questions for Final exam
Dec. 10th Last Day of Class Review and final discussion

Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM