Transalpine Renaissances

Covering the period between 1400 and 1650, and with an emphasis on comparisons and interchange between Italy, Germany, France, England, and the Low Countries, this survey course examines the decorative arts across a variety of media, and in the contexts of the decorated interior and the built environment. After an exploration of the concept and meaning of the term “Renaissance”, we will study the major centers and monuments of decorative arts and design, such as Florence of the Medici; the Burgundian Court; Mannerism in France and the School of Fontainebleau. We will then consider such themes as Renaissance naturalism, the rise of the portrait and concepts of Renaissance identity; art and science and the pursuit of Nature; civility and domestic culture; and courtly collecting. The class will be taught seminar style and there will be a research paper and at least one oral report. We will also visit museums and collections as relevant. Satisfies the pre-1800 requirement.