Art of the Italian Renaissance Courts

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Art of the Italian Renaissance Courts

<p>From the 14th century, key northern Italian cities transitioned from communal government to dynastic tyranny. Splendid courts sprang up around these newly-minted dukes and duchesses, with

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From the 14th century, key northern Italian cities transitioned from communal government to dynastic tyranny. Splendid courts sprang up around these newly-minted dukes and duchesses, with supporters, diplomats, bureaucrats, and their retainers vying to demonstrate their magnificence. Etiquette was key, hierarchy was god, and a humanist education de rigueur. These wealthy and sophisticated courts also attracted artists of the calibre of Leonardo da Vinci in Milan, Piero della Francesca in Urbino and Rimini, and Alberti and Mantegna in Mantua. While this course builds on our ongoing Italian art series, there is no assumption that you have attended the previous classes.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Bayer, Andrea and others, ed., Art and Love in Renaissance Italy. Yale University Press, 2008. Please note this entire book can be read online at www.books.google.com
  • Bicheno, Hugh., Vendetta: High Art and Low Cunning at the Birth of the Renaissance. Phoenix, 2009. General history of Sigismondo Malatesta (Rimini) and Federico da Montefeltro (Urbino).
  • Campbell, Stephen J. Campbell and Michael W. Cole., Italian Renaissance Art. Thames & Hudson, 2012. Recent but expensive – try a library.
  • Christiansen, Keith and others, ed., Piero della Francesca: Personal Encounters. Yale University Press, 2013. Please note that much of the content can be read online at www.books.google.com
  • Cole, Alison., The Art of the Italian Renaissance Courts. Prentice Hall, 2005. Concise and well-illustrated.
  • Ginzburg, Carlo., The Enigma of Piero. Verso, 2002 (and other editions). An intriguing reflection on Piero’s Flagellation.
  • King, Ross., Leonardo and the Last Supper. Bloomsbury, 2013 and other editions. Good general introduction.
  • Kolsky, Stephen., Courts and Courtiers in Renaissance Northern Italy. Ashgate, 2003. Overall, Cole is more accessible.
  • Mallett, Michael., Mercenaries and Their Masters. Pen and Sword, 2009. Readable and scholarly.
  • Paoletti, John T. and Gary Radke., Art in Renaissance Italy. Harry Abrams, various editions. A good general introduction to the period.
  • Toman, Rolf, ed., The Art of the Italian Renaissance. Konemann, 1998. Readily available.
  • Rosenberg, Charles M., ed., The Court Cities of Northern Italy: Milan, Parma, Piacenza, Mantua, Ferrara, Bologna, Urbino, Pesaro, and Rimini. Cambridge UP, 2010. Scholarly but comprehensive.


COURSE OUTLINE

  • The foundation of the Italian Renaissance courts – portraiture case study (Pisanello, Mantegna, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci)
  • Leon Battista Alberti, Andrea Mantegna and the Gonzaga in Mantua
  • Giulio Romano, Rubens and the 16th-century fortunes of Mantua
  • The origins of the Renaissance court of Urbino
  • Piero della Francesca and Federico da Montefeltro
  • Rimini and the intellectual tyrant: Tempio Malatestiano case-study
  • Estense Ferrara: Cosmé Tura and Francesco del Cossa
  • Perils of the Italian Renaissance court: Leonardo in Milan, Michelangelo and the Medici


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

  1. Recognise the key developments in the foundation of the Italian Renaissance courts
  2. Identify major court artists of Italy, 1400-1550
  3. Formally analyse key artworks of the Italian Renaissance
  4. Discuss the careers of the major 15th-century artists of northern Italy