15th Century Tuscan Art: The Primitives

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15th Century Tuscan Art: The Primitives

<p>The 15th century was an extraordinary period in Tuscany, its cultural flowering celebrated as the Renaissance. Western art historians have even long considered it the beginning of the canon. We

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The 15th century was an extraordinary period in Tuscany, its cultural flowering celebrated as the Renaissance. Western art historians have even long considered it the beginning of the canon. We interrogate their assumptions as we continue our investigation of Italian art, exploring the triumphs and innovations of Tuscany (1400-1500). We’ll survey the artists once called the “Primitives”, including Fra Angelico, Masaccio, Filippo Lippi, Piero della Francesca, Ghirlandaio and Botticelli. There will be no assumption that you have attended the previous courses in the series, and our pace has slowed to ensure we can consider this fundamental epoch in greater depth.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Baxandall, Michael. Painting and Experience in 15th-century Italy. Any edition.
  • Bayer, Andrea (ed.). Art and Love in Renaissance Italy.
  • Campbell, Stephen J. and Michael W. Cole. A New History of Italian Renaissance Art. Thames & Hudson, 2012.
  • Christiansen, Keith et al (eds.). Painting in Renaissance Siena 1420-1550.
  • The Great Age of Fresco: Giotto to Pontormo.
  • Hartt, Frederick (ed.). The Renaissance in Italy and Spain.
  • Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Metropolitan Museum of Art. Type in keywords such as “Renaissance Florence” and away you go!
  • Kanter, Laurence and Pia Palladino. Fra Angelico.
  • Nevola, Fabrizio. Siena: Constructing the Renaissance City. Yale University Press, 2007.
  • Norman, Diana. Painting in Late Medieval and Renaissance Siena (1260-1555). Yale University Press, 2003.
  • O’Malley, Michelle and Evelyn Welch. The Material Renaissance. Manchester University Press, 2007.
  • Syson, Luke. Renaissance Siena: Art for a City. National Gallery, London, 2007.
  • Toman, Rolf. The Art of the Italian Renaissance. Ullmann, 2008 (any edition).
  • Turner, A. Richard. The Renaissance in Florence: The Birth of a New Art. Calmann & King, 1997. Any edition.
  • Welch, Evelyn S. Art in Renaissance Italy, 1350-1500. Oxford University Press, 2000. Any edition.


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Gentile da Fabriano, Lorenzo Monaco, Fra Angelico and the ‘International Gothic’ at the dawn of the 15th century: another look
  • Masaccio, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Alberti and the rediscovery of linear perspective
  • Artists as professionals: Benozzo Gozzoli, Domenico Veneziano, the Bicci family
  • Bodies in space: Paolo Uccello, Andrea del Castagno, il Pollaiolo, Piero della Francesca
  • Changes in technique, from the Della Robbia family to Filippo Lippi and Domenico Ghirlandaio
  • Filippino Lippi, Sandro Botticelli and the first inklings of Mannerism
  • Essentialism in Siena: Sano di Pietro, il Sassetta and il Vecchietta
  • Siena’s new style, with Matteo di Giovanni, Beccafumi and il Sodoma
  • Fin-de-siécle extremism in Florence: Savonarola burns, the Medici fall, Botticelli goes blind
  • The advent of Florentine Mannerism, in Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino



PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES

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

  1. Recognise the key historical moments of the fifteenth century in Florence, Siena and their regional territory
  2. Identify major artistic trends in Florence, 1400-1500
  3. Formally analyse key artworks of the Florentine Renaissance
  4. Discuss the careers of the major artists of the 15th century in Tuscany