Art History 412

ARTH 412
Renaissance Art

1. Catalog Entry

ARTH 412
Renaissance Art

Credit hours (3)
An examination of the rebirth of the visual arts in Europe in the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. Each semester will have a different focus: thus one semester will focus on northern European renaissance art, and another will focus on Italian Renaissance art. The major media and artists differ for these regions so the content will not be identical. The course may be repeated with a different focus.

2. Detailed Description of Course

This course fills an art history requirement for students concentrating in art history and museum studies. Other students may use it as an elective in art history. The traditional history of the renaissance, for various reasons, has always been the story of great artists in roughly chronological order with a focus on Italy.  But as our methods of studying history have become more sophisticated and more independent of the Renaissance “sense of self,” writers have increasingly turned their attention to the identification of broader topics (politics, patronage, city states, domestic life) and the role of the work of art within these contexts. As a result, one question we should try to answer in this class is this: what does the traditional survey approach (that you may have experienced in ART215 and 216) leave out? Why has one version of the Renaissance dominated to the extent that most people do not realize that the work of famous artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci are not standard models for the Renaissance in other parts of Europe? A bigger and more challenging question will be an attempt to determine what the Renaissance style is – if we assume that there was a Renaissance style, as opposed to a series of individual artist or regional styles.

3. Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The class may be taught as a lecture/seminar class or as an asynchronous online class. Digital reproductions of art works are used in either case and online media are also used. Students must have access to a laptop or tablet computer and an internet connection. The online version will include narrated power point presentations, along with the use of other internet media. The University’s LMS will be the primary platform for the online version.

Textbooks, reading materials, and examples of key art works and artists will necessarily be different depending on the semester focus. When possible and appropriate, visits to museum exhibitions and guest lecturers will also be used.

By accepting admission to Radford University, each student makes a commitment to understand, support, and abide by the University Honor Code without compromise or exception. Violations of academic integrity will not be tolerated. Regardless of the format, this class will be conducted in strict observance of the Honor Code. Students are referred to the Student Handbook for details.
4. Goals and Objectives of the Course

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:
    1) Critique the “traditional” approach to the Renaissance and its origins in the writings of the Florentine essayist and artist
        Giorgio Vasari.
    2) Examine the proposition that of the styles in use during the Renaissance, only one can truly be called a Renaissance
        style while others are more conservative continuations of older styles.
    3) Identify the formal characteristics of the Italian and/or the Northern European Renaissance style and its leading
        exemplars and their differences from the conservative styles of the period.
    4) Recognize the evolution of this style during the three centuries generally associated with the Renaissance era.
    5) Analyze the influence of patronage, gender, and economics in determining the contributions of individual artists and
        shaping the look of Renaissance art.

5. Assessment Measures

The final grade will be based upon a variety of measures. These may include tests/quizzes, and an oral presentation and/or a short research paper. Power point presentations may also be required.  

6. Other Course Information

If the student has a learning disability recognized by the Disabled Student Services Office at Radford University, he or she should advise the professor of the nature of the disability during the first week of class.

Tape recording of class lectures is not normally permitted unless the student has a learning disability recognized by Radford University and the professor receives a formal request from the Disabled Resource Office. At his or her discretion, the professor may allow tape recording under other special circumstances.

For technical problems with the LMS, the student must contact the IT help desk or the LMS help desk. These difficulties do not serve as an excuse for late or incomplete work and they cannot be resolved by the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to find the correct source of help.

Review and Approval

June 20, 2015