In this course, we will focus on becoming “literate” in the art of the Italian Renaissance, on identifying the effects that the Renaissance had on the arts of Italy, and discovering the ways in which specific historical developments impacted those arts from the end of the thirteenth century to the end of the sixteenth century. The Renaissance, a European phenomenon that began to develop in the late thirteenth century, refers to a marked shift in the ways in which individuals perceived their world. A new outlook was emerging—one that was characterized by, among other things, increased humanism and a renewed interest in the cultures of Classical Antiquity (and all within a Christian framework). There is no specific date that marks the beginning of the Renaissance, but its burgeoning effects on art can be detected earlier in Italy than in other areas. The late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in Italy are consequently referred to as the “Proto-Renaissance” and will constitute our first unit of study. In a dramatic departure from the art of their time, early Renaissance artists, such as Giotto, began to represent humanized saints that had real corporeality and visual mass.In the “quattrocento,” or Italian fifteenth century, the ideas of the Renaissance developed more fully—first in Florence, and later throughout the region. These ideals and developments, which included the use of mathematical systems to represent illusionistic space, the integration of models from Classical Antiquity, and an interest in the human body, are reflected in fifteenth-century art, the subject of our second unit of study.Then, in the early sixteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael (the powerful forces behind what is known as “High Renaissance” art) mastered their media and respective techniques and fully achieved a correspondence between Renaissance ideals and art. Their styles were borrowed and adapted throughout the century.Mannerist art, the subject of our last unit of study, began to develop in the second quarter of the sixteenth century. Mannerism represents a response to the harmonious and structured compositions of the High Renaissance; many of its prominent artists created artworks that both used and violated Renaissance artistic ideals.
Days of the Week:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
- Level of Difficulty: All Levels
- Size: One-on-One
- Cost: Free
- Institution: Saylor
- Topics: General Art