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HA401A: ITALIAN MURAL PAINTING AND THE MAKING OF VISUAL CULTURES, 1400-1500 (2022-2023)

Last modified: 04 Oct 2022 15:40


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 4
Session First 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 Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • Either History Of Art (HA) or History (HI)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

Yes

One or more of these courses have a limited number of places. Priority access will be given to students for whom this course is compulsory. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more details on this process.


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 week s 8 - 18

More Information about Week Numbers


Summative Assessments

3500 word essay (30%)

Tutorial/Seminar participation (10%)

2-hour written exam (40%)

1-hour class test (20%)

 

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ReflectionEvaluateTo critically evaluate concepts of place, space and performance as explored in key literature in relation to case-study artworks.
ProceduralEvaluateShow a critical understanding of the cultural value of artistic production of the Renaissance period, then and now.
ConceptualUnderstandDemonstrate a broad understanding of mural paintings, their makers, manufactural processes and traditions, and functions in fifteenth-century Italy
ProceduralEvaluateApply specialised vocabularies and critically evaluate in relation to visual and textual primary sources related to Italian artwork of the fifteenth century.
ReflectionCreateDemonstrate confidence in researching, organising and delivering written and oral academic work in a class presentation on a dfined topic, and an essay on a self-defined topic.

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