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HA351A: ITALIAN MURAL PAINTING AND THE MAKING OF VISUAL CULTURES, 1400-1500 (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2020 11:15


Course Overview

This course focuses on sacred and profane wall paintings in central and northern Italy, exploring their role in the making of visual cultures. It begins with materials and modes of production to enhance knowledge of theory and practice. Case-study seminars focus on themes of salvation, chivalry, politics and astrology. Students will explore the significance of works created for key sites and patrons, as well as ideas about permanence and originality during the Renaissance and in modern times.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Joanne Anderson

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Either History Of Art (HA) or History (HI)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • Programme Level 3

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

The art of wall painting in Italian churches, palaces and streets reached new heights across the fifteenth century. From the single-point perspective of Masaccio’s Trinity (c.1425) in Florence and the astrological scheme in the Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara (1466-74) to the grand typological scheme of the Sistine Chapel (c.1490), the monumental proportions and architectural character of this art lent presence and authority to religious and political ideologies, both inside or on the streets. It equally gave expression to ideas of learning, culture and pleasure. To step inside their constructed and performing worlds was an embodied experience that played upon all the senses, creating connections with other objects present, such as glass, altarpieces, metalwork, furniture or tapestries.

This course focuses on sacred and profane wall paintings in central and northern Italy, exploring their role in the making of visual cultures. It begins with a seminar focusing on the materials and modes of production used by workshops to create mural paintings, utilising artistic treatises, contracts and visual sources to enhance knowledge of theory and practice. This lays the foundations for a series of case-study seminars dedicated to elucidating the meaning of specific works in historical and cultural context. Themes include salvation, chivalry, politics and astrology.

Students will explore the significance of works created for key sites and patrons in central and northern Italy, including those which were adapted after original production according to shifts in taste or regime. With an eye on displacement or destruction, the latter weeks will focus on ideas about permanence, originality and function of murals during the Renaissance but also in modern times with the museum- like environment and the real museum.


Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 2 Seminars during University weeks 25 - 34, 38 - 40

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for courses may be subject to change. All updates for first-half session courses will be actioned no later than 1700 (GMT) on 18 September 2020. All updates for second half-session courses will be actioned in advance of second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

3000 word article review 30%

3000 word essay 40%

48 hours takeaway visual test 20%

Class contribution 10%

 

Resit; 4500 word essay 100%

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualAnalyseDevelop familiarity with concepts of place, space and performance, as explored in key literature, in relation to case-study artworks.
ConceptualAnalyseShow a thorough understanding of the cultural value of artistic production in the Renaissance period, then and now.
ProceduralCreateDemonstrate confidence in organising and delivering written and oral academic work in a class presentation on a defined topic, and an essay.
ConceptualAnalyseBuild specialised vocabularies in order to gain familiarity with visual and textual primary sources related to Italian artworks of the fifteenth century.
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate a broad understanding of mural paintings, their makers, manufactural processes and traditions, and functions in fifteenth-century Italy.

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