ARTH301 - UNDERGRADUATE SEMINAR: Courts of the Italian Renaissance

Topic varies.
Section 301 - SEM
Just what is Late Antiquity? for this interdisciplinary course, it's the period from the later third century within the Roman Mediterranean world up to the 8th-century age of Charlemagne and the Islamic Arab expansion. Its territory spans the three continents ringing the Romans' Mediterranean Sea: Britain and Eurasia, North Africa and Egypt, the Near and Middle East. This period has been called an `Age of Spirituality', to which the arts were critically important: those traditions include Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and many sorts of enduring `paganism'. To Romanists and Byzantinists, the period seems an `Age of Invasions', whether by Goths and Franks in the west or the great expanding empires of the east, the Partho-Sassanian realm based in Iran, and the early Islamic, Arab, Ummayad empire. Yet just as the contending peoples sometimes intermarried and often traded with one another, their visual and material culture frequently documents cultural borrowing and exchange. The ancient Roman world had constructed national, imperial, personal identities with visual splendors and the artifacts of daily life. The Late Antique world still did. Moving around sites like its soldiers and merchants, princes and pilgrims, this course explores many sorts of objects and their economies of production and consumption -- sarcophagi and statuary, arches and coins, mosaic floors and painted halls, illustrated books and carved gems, artistry in silver and ivory and glass. We put them back in their settings: architecture and designed landscape in city and sanctuary, in tombs, houses, palaces, and country villas. We'll listen, too, to the ancient men and women who spoke about what to look at, why, and how, when they debated the status of the arts in society -- historians and religious leaders, poets and philosophers, novelists and letter-writers, and the messages written onto buildings and things. Tradition and innovation are the buzzwords of Late Antique art histories, classically symbolized by how Constantine refurbished the city of Rome, and also founded a brand new Christian Rome at the city he named for himself, Constantinople -- it became the capital of the Byzantine `Romaioi' until it fell to the Ottomans in the 15th century CE. Very deliberately, late Roman peoples (including invaders) repaired, recycled and emulated their inheritance of a millennium of Graeco-Roman design; the Late Antique peoples also celebrated vigorous contemporary identities by radical innovation in style, content, and production. This course is also a Ben Franklin seminar. Registration: max. 20. The course will exploit the resources of the University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; students will be encouraged to use the collections of regional museums. There will be one assigned museum field-trip outside of Philadelphia. There are no prerequsites except experience with intermediate to advanced undergraduate research. Prior experience with analysis of art and artifacts, or with ancient Mediterranean culture, is useful but not required; many disciplines are useful to this collaborative seminar, and its structure will encourage collaboration between students of diverse specialties. The material can be of especial interest to students in ArtH and VisSt, ClSt and ClCiv, RelSt and Jewish St, the undergraduate programs in GSD (Fine Arts, Lsc, HistPres, Archit), Anthro, and Hist.

W 0200PM-0500PM


BENN 141

Section 302 - SEM
This course will provide students with a survey of the major artistic, cultural and political developments of Italian court culture between 1400 and 1600. This course will track the developments of five of the principle courts: Milan, Ferrara, Urbino, Mantua and Naples. It will focus on the relation between the artistic and cultural achievements of each court and the crisis-ridden historical conditions in which the works were produced. Particular attention will be given to episodes when major foreign artistic personalities crossed into the pre-established artistic milieu of the courts. Tensions often arose between patrons and artists, whose expectations and experiences of the relationship between artist and patron were at loggerheads. Particular attention will be given to the following cross-cultural exchanges: Leonardo’s period in Milan; Titian, Raphael and Michelangelo in Ferrara; Raphael in Urbino; and Giovanni Bellini in Mantua.
R 0130PM-0430PM
    Section 303 - SEM
    This seminar will study the histories of the most prominent Parisian sites associated with the rise of modernity in the second half of the 19th century: the Eiffel Tower, shopping arcades, department stores (like the Bon Marché), sewers, the catacombs, the world's fair grounds and the Bois de Boulogne, the Opéra Garnier, the “boulevards,” and their artistic and popular representations. We will study contemporary caricatures and magazine illustrations, as well as paintings by Manet, Monet and others, in order to get a better understanding of why the period is often credited with the emergence of modernist art. We will also analyze the extent to which the famous characterizations of modernity, from Charles Baudelaire to Walter Benjamin and beyond, have stood the test of subsequent art and cultural history, as well as urban archaeology. Students are expected to have at least some background in visual studies and French.
    W 0330PM-0630PM
      Section 401 - SEM
      W 0200PM-0500PM
      • CLST301401