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You are here: Home Courses Middlebury-CMRS Course List HARC 0850 The Italian Renaissance - only offered Spring 2018

HARC 0850 The Italian Renaissance - only offered Spring 2018

[Please note: This seminar is offered for the Spring 2018 semester. It is not offered in Autumn 2017. Each seminar runs only if there is sufficient student demand.] It is in the world of the visual arts and architecture that the spectacular cultural phenomenon known as the Renaissance first found expression in fourteenth-century Italy. This course explores the circumstances of that ‘re-birth’ by examining its principal aesthetic artefacts in themselves and in the context of the time, drawing on the best available scholarship, and traces the landmark achievements of its history over the following 200 years. The stellar aspirations of the Renaissance mind are studied also in the new schools of literature and philosophy which complement the arts, painting a portrait of the era in its full interactive breadth and depth.

  1. Giotto, Masaccio and Early Renaissance Painting
  2. Brunelleschi, Bramante and Architecture
  3. Donatello, Michelangelo and Sculpture
  4. Dante and the Divina Commedia
  5. The Medici Family: Patronage and Power
  6. The Petrarchan Tradition in Verse and Scholarship
  7. Alberti, Vasari and Art Criticism
  8. The High Renaissance: Leonardo and Raphael
  9. Castiglione and the ‘Renaissance Man’
  10. The Architecture of Palladio

Key Reading:

  • Burke, Peter, The Italian Renaissance. Culture and Society in Italy. Oxford: Polity, 1993
  • Stephens, John, The Italian Renaissance. The Origins of Intellectual and Artistic Change Before the Reformation. London: Longman, 1990
  • Kraye, Jill, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Humanism. Cambridge University Press, 1996
  • Kristeller, Paul O., Renaissance Thought and the Arts. Collected Essays. Princeton University Press, 1990
  • Yates, Frances, Renaissance and Reform: The Italian Contribution. London: Routledge, 1983
  • Chastel, André, Art of the Italian Renaissance. London: Alpine, 1988
  • Goffen, Rona, Renaissance Rivals. Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, Titian. Yale University Press, 2002
  • Hartt, Frederick, A History of Italian Renaissance Art. Painting. Sculpture. Architecture. London, 1984
A life-changing experience
My semester at CMRS was a life-changing experience. With the backdrop of the beautiful and historically-relevant Oxford, I read, wrote, and learned mo...
Jason Martin, Spring Semester 2011, Albion College