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Art History: Italy: From the Renaissance to the Rococo
Please note that this course will run over the entire year (Split into 3 terms)
In this course, we shall be looking at the development of Italian art and architecture from about 1400 to 1700. This was the time of the Renaissance, of Mannerism and the Baroque. It was the age of an extraordinary constellation of artists, many of which are household names, people like Piero della Francesca, Tintoretto and Bernini. It was a time when Italy was convulsed by remarkable developments whether it was the rise of Florence and re-emergence of Rome as a major cultural centre, the Counter-Reformation or the flowering of Venetian culture. And it was the period of such fascinating patrons as Lorenzo de Medici and Pope Julius II. In this course we shall attempt to do justice to all the big names. But an effort will also be made to develop an in depth understanding of the period by going down some less obvious byways. Thus due attention will be paid to Venice and other artistic centres as well as to Florence. We shall take a particular interest in Mannerism, in the eye-catching paintings of Pontormo, and aim to trace the development of architecture across the period. And we shall be looking at the less well-known work of Annibale Carracci as well as Caravaggio. Special attention will be paid to what people wrote about the arts at the time especially to the enormously influential Lives of the Artists by Vasari. This is a time of great changes, remarkable personalities and stunning art. Come along and take a fresh look at one of the greatest periods of European civilization!
An optional trip to the National Gallery, London, will be arranged