HA2VR-Art & Power in Renaissance Italy

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Prof Clare Robertson

Email: e.c.robertson@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module aims to provide an understanding of the way in which art and architecture were used as a means of self representation and political as well as religious propaganda in Renaissance Italy. In doing this, it sets out to explore the artistic patronage of governments and corporate patrons - such as the religious orders and confraternities - as well as of wealthy members of the ruling classes. It aims to investigate how artistic production could and did vary from city to city according to local needs and demands, and as a means of highlighting the differences it will focus on two cities, Rome and Venice. A further aim is to introduce students to the works of the principal artists working in these cities.

Aims:
This module aims to provide an understanding of the way in which art and architecture were used as a means of self representation and political as well as religious propaganda in Renaissance Italy. In doing this, it sets out to explore the artistic patronage of governments and corporate patrons - such as the religious orders and confraternities - as well as of wealthy members of the ruling classes. It aims to investigate how artistic production could and did vary from city to city according to local needs and demands, and as a means of highlightling the differences it will focus on two cities, Rome and Venice. A further aim is to introduce students to the works of the principal artists working in these cities.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

  • recognise the work of the principal artists and architects working in Venice and Rome between 1450 and 1600 and to justify that identification

  • identify and explain the main issues influencing the creation of works of art and buidlings during this period

  • locate and assemble information on the subject through their own research

  • examine critically the primary sources and art historical interpretations of the subject

  • organise their material and articulate their arguments effectively in writing, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays

  • recognise and assess works of art as a means of social and political self representation

Additional outcomes:
It is expected that students will demonstrate skills of organisation and initiative, including the ability to organise themselves to take advantage of opportunities to study relevant visual artefacts outside the classroom and beyond the prescribed syllabus. The module also aims to encourage the development of students' IT skills through the use of relevant Web resources and databases.

Outline content:
This module looks at the production of art in two of Italy's principal cities during the course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries - Venice and Rome. It will consider how art and architecture were employed to propagate the political ideas of these small city states and it will ask whether the art produced in the republic (Venice) was different in kind and in manner of production from the signory, ruled by a single individual (the pope in Rome). The module will introduce students to the principal patrons in each of these cities, in Venice to the Doges and the principal magistracies, in Rome to the pope and his cardinals. It will also introduce students to the principal artists and architects they employed, in Venice the Bellinis, the Lombardi and Codussi, Giorgione, Titian, Sansovino, Sanmicheli, Tintoretto, and in Rome Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, Vasari and Salviati.

The module will also provide an introduction to the main developments in Italian Renaissance art and architecture, and in particular to such issues as the introduction of new modes of naturalistic representation and new tools to help the artist (for example, linear perspective). It will also consider how this interest in naturalistic representation led artists to look to antique modules for inspiration and conversely how an interest in classical antiquity inspired them to conquer the problems of representing the three-dimensional world in an illusionistic way. In addition to this, it looks at the various types of artwork that painters and sculptors were expected to produce and also at the functions that these works were expected to perform. It considers how these artworks were made and the effect that technique had on their final appearance.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Normally two hours of lectures/seminars per week, with one of the lecture sessions given over to discussion from time to time. Seminars involve structured group discussion requiring preparatory research and reading. Students are expected to visit museums or galleries on their own initiative but study visits may be arranged to appropriate galleries and exhibitions. There are also one or two revision classes in the summer term.

Students prepare one formative project/essay by week 6 of the Autumn term such as a book or exhibition report or glossary which asks students to identify and define key terms and ideas within the course.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 20 20 2
Tutorials 2 2
Guided independent study 63 63 28
       
Total hours by term 85.00 85.00 30.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 40

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    2 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August / September. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 22nd August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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