S1704 Art and Architecture in Renaissance Venice (Italy core)

Centanni Monica, Bastianello Elisa

Course description


The course introduces students to the world of Art and Architecture through the approach and

methods of a historian. It provides skills and “tricks” needed to interpret Renaissance works of art and architecture, as well as appreciate them aesthetically.

The course guides the students in the acquaintance of major protagonists of Venice Renaissance Art and Architecture. It examines the evolution and development of Venetian Art and Architecture from the late XV century to the beginning of the XVII century, focusing on a selection of great masters and their masterpieces. Venice, with its outstanding monuments and its connections with all the great cultural centers in Europe and down along the whole Mediterranean sea, will give us a special opportunity to examine artworks and monuments in their original settings.

Particular emphasis will be given to the rediscovery, use and interpretation of classical models of Roman and Greek tradition, in all the fields of Renaissance culture.


Learning Objectives:

to learn methods of analysis for Renaissance works of art in their form, meaning and visual symbolism;

to relate artworks to their historical background;

to understand the master’s artistic views and intentions;

to be able to recognize the major social and historical forces which conditioned Renaissance Art in Italy and in Venice through the analysis of Italian intellectual, social, economic and political history;

to build a “language of observation”: a proper visual vocabulary to adequately describe artworks;

to improve the critical approach to reading, talking and writing on Art and Art history;

to become more familiar with the principal resources and tools for scholarly research in Art History (books, articles, web-sources etc.).


Course Prerequisites: no specific prerequisites required.


Teaching method:

The lectures are supported by PowerPoint presentations combined with seminars (for which students are assigned weekly reading tasks), site visits and research challenges.

Students will be encouraged to take part in discussions in Renaissance styles, workshops and

techniques. Strong emphasis is set on the actual material culture of the city of Venice and its

connection to the subject.