Scenes from Italian Art

Italy’s great painters have long represented the same scenes, drawing on the same biblical texts, mythological repertoire, local tales and eminent biographies. Yet by considering these works alongside one another, we can identify subtle changes of style and narrative focus, and begin to understand the great achievements of those who created them. In this new course, you’ll have access to background material online, including a weekly lecture, and in our online discussion groups we’ll meet to analyse the artworks and go beyond the surface similarities of the story. There is no assumption that you’ve joined any of our previous classes.


This class will be delivered online via the online platform Zoom. Enrolling students need to ensure they have an email, a reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers and access to a tablet, smartphone or computer.


SUGGESTED READING


COURSE OUTLINE
Before our classes begin, you’ll receive a link to an online folder with a 1-hour lecture on an aspect of the week’s images; the images for discussion in class; and short background readings. When we meet online on Zoom, we’ll have a 1.5-hour guided discussion of the selected images. This basic session outline will be repeated for each of the course’s five weeks, as we explore the following scenes from Italian art:

  • Adam and Eve
  • The Annunciation of the Virgin
  • The Metamorphoses
  • The Last Supper
  • Venus.

Artists explored in depth will include: Masaccio, Michelangelo, Giotto, Fra Angelico, Bernini, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Titian and more.


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

  1. Formally analyse key Italian artworks.
  2. Discuss the main approaches to developing art appreciation skills.
  3. Recognise the elements of key scenes, ca 1000-1900.
  4. Identify major trends in Italian art.

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