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The Art of Italy's Glorious Middle Ages

$189 Limited inc GST / $170
The Art of Italy's Glorious Middle Ages

<p>Tradition has long held that Italian art emerged out of the “Dark Ages” in the 13th century, into a magnificent cultural flowering that was later styled a Renaissance. This course explores the

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Tradition has long held that Italian art emerged out of the “Dark Ages” in the 13th century, into a magnificent cultural flowering that was later styled a Renaissance. This course explores the origins of medieval Italian sculpture, painting and the minor arts. From early Pisan and Roman experiments with proportion and realism, to Giotto’s triumph in Tuscany and the difficulties it posed for ensuing generations in Siena and Florence, we move to an exploration of the diverging traditions of Italy’s north and south. We investigate how Italy’s medieval art laid the groundwork for an extraordinary renewal, at home and abroad.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Baxandall, Michael. Painting and Experience in 15th-century Italy. Oxford University Press, any edition.
  • Campbell, Stephen J. and Michael W. Cole. A New History of Italian Renaissance Art. Thames & Hudson, 2012.
  • Cennini, Cennino. The Craftman’s Handbook (Il libro dell’arte). Dover, 1954.
  • Christiansen, Keith. Duccio and the Origins of Western Painting. Metropolitan Museum of New York. Read online: www.metmuseum.org/art/metpublications
  • Hoving, Thomas and others. The Great Age of Fresco. Metropolitan Museum of New York. Read online: www.metmuseum.org/art/metpublications
  • Paoletti, John T. and Gary M. Radke. Art in Renaissance Italy. Lawrence King, any edition.
  • Toman, Rolf (ed.). Gothic: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting. HF Ullmann, 2013.
  • Toman, Rolf (ed.). Romanesque: Architecture, Sculpture, Painting. HF Ullmann, 2010.
  • Welch, Evelyn. Art and Society in Italy 1350-1500. Oxford University Press, any edition.
  • White, John. Art and Architecture in Italy, 1250-1400. Yale University Press, any edition.
  • Various essays at the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Start with www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/iptg/hd_iptg.htm and www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/sien/hd_sien.htm


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Origins of medieval Italian art. Did the “Dark Ages” exist? Romanesque Italian sculpture and painting, from Pavia and Friuli in the north, to papal interventions in Rome and the incorporation of a new Benedictine ethos in the south.
  • Byzantine and Norman. Dominant political trends in medieval Italy’s north and south – from Venice’s fascination with Constantinople and the East, to Norman syncretism in Sicily and southern Italy – and their effect on contemporary art.
  • New orders and new beginnings. Growth of the Franciscan and Dominican orders; a new interest in the human dimensions of the faith. Arnolfo di Cambio, Nicola Pisano, Pietro Cavallini, Giunta Pisano.
  • “Now Giotto has the field”: Cimabue and Giotto, from Assisi to Padua. New proportions, new stories, emotional complexity and narrative drive, in fresco and panel-painting.
  • Meanwhile, in Siena… Duccio, Simone Martini, Lippo Memmi and the development of a Gothic style in Siena. Before and after the Black Death, and its potential ramifications for the art of this period.
  • The challenges of Giotto. Painting in Tuscany after Giotto, from Bernardo Daddi to the Gaddi family workshop.
  • From the north to the south. Padua and Bologna after Giotto, Venice perfects a local idiom. The effects of foreign dominion, universities, maritime trade and the Gothic on medieval art in Naples.
  • A new inheritance? The flowering of the “International Gothic” and its marriage of chivalric elegance and Italian naturalism. Giotto’s gauntlet is finally picked up, culminating in the “rebirth” of linear perspective with Masaccio, Donatello and Brunelleschi.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the historical context of Italy, 1000-1400.
  2. Evaluate the technical and stylistic innovations of medieval Italian art.
  3. Identify the major artistic traditions of southern, central and northern Italy, and their major proponents.
  4. Critically evaluate medieval Italian art in context.