Renaissance Art, Architecture and Culture

Course NameRenaissance Art, Architecture and Culture
Course CodeHSS320 / HSS520
DescriptionThe course presents an overview of the Renaissance as a unique period in European cultural history, beginning after the peak of the Gothic era around 1300 and transitioning to the new style that comes to an end sometime around 1520. We will focus mainly on Italian Renaissance, yet also give some attention and thought to northern Europe. Works of painting, sculpture, architecture and literature will be viewed in the context of political, religious, and social change of the time, beginning with humanism, which constituted the intellectual background of the Renaissance. We will read and reflect upon some important primary sources of writing by authors such as Dante Aligieri, Francesco Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Leon Battista Alberti, Giorgio Vasari, Niccolò Machiavelli, and Baldesar Castiglione, while looking at and discussing the most important artists and art works that have formed and exemplified the style, such as Giotto, Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo and Titian, but also Peter Parler, Jan van Eyck or Albrecht Dürer. The classroom lectures will be combined with excursions to museums, art galleries, and historical sites relevant to the topics covered in the class.
Learning OutcomesUpon completion of this course, students will be able to:
– Understand the intellectual, artistic, literary, cultural and historical developments of the Renaissance;
– Describe the general characteristics of this period and know the principal figures of the time and be able identify their most important works;
– Understand humanism and how this philosophy inspired creative and intellectual output during this period;
– Analyse first-hand the most significant works of Renaissance philosophers, authors, artist and architects;
– Understand the historical context out of which the Renaissance emerged and its legacy to later periods.
SchoolSchool of Humanities & Social Sciences
LevelBachelor / Master
Number of credits (US / ECTS)3 US / 6 ECTS