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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ITAL1034 Art and Literature in Medieval and Renaissance Italy: An Introduction

10 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Laura Lucia Rossi

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The period between 1300 and 1600 in Italy saw cultural changes which led to some of the best known works of art and literature in Western Europe. As well as exploring the context of late medieval and Renaissance Italy, this module also introduces works by the 'three crowns' of Italian literature - Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio - and by the celebrated artists Duccio and Botticelli.


This module aims to introduce students to the art, literature and society of Medieval and Renaissance Italy. It introduces basic skills in cultural analysis, as well as providing a background in the cultural developments of Italy from 1300 to 1600.

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module, students should be able to:
- analyse a painting discussing major formal features
- discuss the major developments of medieval and Renaissance Italian culture
- demonstrate knowledge of the historical background of late medieval and Renaissance Italy
- demonstrate techniques of literary analysis
- apply the analytical techniques learned to a wide variety of other texts.


The course will begin with an introduction to late medieval Italy and late medieval culture, and will move into an examination of texts and artworks taken from the following list:
- Duccio's Maestà; Dante's Inferno
- Petrarch's Canzoniere
- Boccaccio's Decameron.

In Weeks 6 and 7, lectures will introduce Renaissance Florence, and the final weeks of the module will examine works taken from the following list:
- Botticelli's mythological paintings
- Botticelli's late mystical works
- Machiavelli's Il principe
- Guicciardini's Storia d'Italia.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours90.00
Total Contact hours10.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Students will work on art analysis using the online tutorial prepared by Matthew Treherne. They will follow guided reading in Italian literature and on the historical context = 81 hours.

Preparation for the examination = 9 hours.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- The teacher(s) will keep a close eye on classroom participation on the part of the students.
- Exercises and activities related to the set reading will be set as homework on a weekly basis, and will be discussed in detail in class.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1,500 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 02/07/2021 16:11:34


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