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2007/08 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ITAL3223 Experiencing art in the Italian Renaissance

20 creditsClass Size: 21

Module manager: M. Treherne
Email: m.treherne@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2007/08

Pre-requisite qualifications

Italian level 2 or equivalent

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

The Italian Renaissance produced works of art which remain familiar to us today. We are less familiar, however, with the ways in which those works of art were understood, used and experienced in the Renaissance. This module examines the reception of art in the Renaissance, by focusing on the contexts in which art was experienced, the techniques used by artists, and Renaissance writers' analyses of art. It explores the ways in which Renaissance art was experienced in a range of cultural, intellectual and social contexts; what a range of authors believed the value of art to be; which terms were used to describe, analyse and evaluate art; and why, in the eyes of contemporaries, some works were seen as more praiseworthy that others. It enables students to examine closely some of the Italian Renaissance's most influential art, including works by Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian and Tintoretto. It also studies some of the Italian Renaissance's most influential writing on art: Pietro Aretino's letters on art, Giorgio Vasari's Vite degli artisti and Gregorio Comanini's Il figino. It will discuss in detail the ways in which these writers responded to some of the major artists of the Renaissance, in particular Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian.

Objectives

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- use the techniques of art analysis to describe works by a range of Renaissance artists;
- describe some of the principal concepts with which a range of Renaissance writers discussed art;
- use those concepts to analyse Renaissance artworks in ways which are sensitive to the intellectual, social and cultural contexts in which those works were commissioned, created and viewed;
- demonstrate knowledge of some of the major developments in art practice and theory;
- describe the ways in which writing on art developed in the Renaissance in Italy;
- discuss the ways in which the Renaissance experience of art was related to social, moral, aesthetic and religious concerns.

Skills outcomes
The module aims to equip students with the following transferable skills:

- achieve visual literacy skills, including the ability to present contextual readings of visual evidence, and the ability to articulate analytical responses to visual art;
- understand and use, in written and oral contexts, a range of critical terms from art analysis and critical theory appropriate to the topic at hand;
- adopt a critical approach to the selection and organisation of a large body of material in order to produce, to a deadline, a written argument of some complexity;
- write clearly and in an appropriate idiom about a complex topic.


Syllabus

Semester One

Week 1: Introduction: Renaissance art and art analysis. Seminar topic: Art, Subjectivity, Subjectivities: Who am I when I look at a work of art?
Week 2: The High Renaissance in Rome. Seminar topic: what was distinctive about art in Rome in the High Renaissance?
Week 3: the High Renaissance in Rome. Seminar topic: Neo-Platonism and the experience of beauty.
Week 4: Vasari and the Vite. Seminar topic: colour and design.
Week 5: Vasari on Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. Seminar topic: the challenges of ekphrasis.
Week 6: Venetian art of the Cinquecento: Titian and Tintoretto. Seminar topic: light, colour and line.
READING WEEK
Week 8: Aretino and Titian. Seminar topic: 'Visibile parlare': Aretino and Titian's portraits
Week 9: Experiencing religious art in the Renaissance. Seminar topic: art, religion and the self.
Week10: The Counter-Reformation and Comanini's Il figino (I). Seminar topic: Does Counter-Reformation art reflect Counter-Reformation theory?
Week 11: The Counter-Reformation and Comanini's Il figino (II). Seminar topic: imitation, pleasure and instruction in Counter-Reformation art theory.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture101.0010.00
Seminar101.0010.00
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparation for classes: 130 hours
Preparation and undertaking of assessment: 50 hours

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Compulsory commentary exercise (submitted in week 5): 1,000 words commentary. Although the mark will not be counted in the assessment of the module, late submission/failure to submit this will incur a reduction of 5 percentage points on the mark for the commentary exam for every day it is submitted late.
Commentary examination (week 6);
Feedback will be given on both of these before the submission of the first essay
Seminar presentation(s) and participation;
First essay (due week 10).

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 1,500 word essay. due week 1030.00
Essay1 x 1,500 word essay, due end of semester30.00
PresentationGroup presentation and participation10.00
AssignmentCompulsory commentary exercise (submitted in week 5): 1,000 wordds commentary, Although the mark will not be counted in the assessment of the module, late submission/failure to submit this will incur a reduction of 5% points on the mark for the commantary exam for every day it is submitted late.0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)70.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)30.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 04/04/2008

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