Spring 2024 Course Highlight | Italian Renaissance Art

This spring, Professor Kristin Phillips-Court will be teaching ART HIST 320 Italian Renaissance Art TR 5:00–6:15pm | Sophomore Standing | Humanities Breadth | L&S Credit | Enroll here.Description: This course examines early modern Italian art (painting, sculpture, architecture) from roughly 1250 to 1580. In our analyses of visual works, we will seek to better understand early modern perception, non-verbal persuasion, the rationalization of space, tools of illusion, emotion, gesture, citation, anachronism, hidden knowledge, and stratified spectatorship. How did early modern art materialize collective sentiment? How did beholders interpret and create new meaning around the material object? As the locus of both the transmission and reception of political, theological, and aesthetic arguments, how did material objects call upon rational or emotional modes of cognition to stimulate action? Lectures will emphasize historical contexts of production by incorporating discussion of politics and patronage, banking and commercial trade networks, confessional conflict, propagandistic uses of art, theological debates, and literary trends that impacted developments in painting in particular. As we consider the historical and transcendental claims of art in the context of patronage, we will also encounter fraught portrayals of women and ethnic/religious minorities in which cultural markers such as language, dress, conspiracy theories, and popular pseudoscientific treatises on physiognomy encoded a view of the early modern world that we will work to unscramble.