This course offers an overview of works created throughout the Italian peninsula, from Naples to Genoa, and Venice to Rome from the thirteenth through the fifteenth century. In addition to the well-known artists who generally define the period (Giotto, Donatello, Botticelli) the course covers a variety of artists, media, and sites that broaden students' understanding of the early Renaissance, examining formal transformations within social, political, and religious contexts. Students focus particularly on how art was used in the civic structure of both republics and courts, and how individual patrons shaped the visual arts in Italy from the early fourteenth-century innovations of Giotto to the late fifteenth-century innovations of Leonardo and Michelangelo. In addition to understanding how visual images communicate by developing skills of formal analysis of art and architecture, students focus on the interpretation of how and what particular styles conveyed in society. Writing assignments include the critical analysis of art historical writing, analysis of style, and a research paper.
Prerequisites: Second year standing or above.