This Course is Expired

Italian Renaissance Art c.1400-c.1500

This course is an opportunity to explore a wide variety of art forms and to discover more about the cultural, social and historical background that made this period so unique.
University of Oxford University Offices Wellington Square Oxford ,OX1 2JD United Kingdom
(4418) 65270000

Course at a Glance

Mode of learning : Online - Instructor Lead(LVC)

Domain / Subject : Humanities

Function : General

Trainer name : Dr Victoria Mier

Starts on : 15th Sep 2014

Duration : 10 Weeks

Difficulty : Advanced

About the course

The Italian Renaissance gave us some of the most popular and powerful works of art ever created. It witnessed the discovery of mathematical perspective, the refinement of different media such as oil painting and fresco, and the development of secular and classical themes, as well as religious subjects. It experienced a varied and invigorating cultural life that included the flourishing of humanism and a renewed interest in the antique world.

Strong trade links with Northern Europe and the East encouraged intellectual curiosity and openness. This course explores the works of the most famous artists of the time, together with other, more unusual examples from smaller centres, and a wide range of three-dimensional art objects that decorated the religious spaces and homes of Renaissance Italians. The course is for anyone interested in the art, history and culture of a period that continues to influence and inspire us today.

Course aims

This course will enable you to:

  • Increase your understanding of Italian art and culture, as well as the social, economic and geographic factors that made this period so unique. 
  • Improve your ability to express reasoned and critical analyses of works of art using a variety of methods and sources.
  • Communicate your own ideas about the art of the period and widen your viewpoint through discussions with other students.

Assessment methods

Assessment for this course is based on two written assignments - one short assignment due half way through the course and one longer assignment due at the end of the course. Students will have about two weeks to complete each assignment.

Teaching Outcomes

By the end of this course students will be able to understand:

  • The social, political and historical factors that gave rise to the flourishing of art in this period.
  • The variety of different artistic styles current during the fifteenth century in Italy.
  • The significance of so-called decorative art forms.

By the end of this course students will have gained the ability to:

  • evaluate a variety of sources.
  • communicate ideas and join in group discussions.
  • think critically about established historical traditions.

Course eligibility

Course Requirements

This course is delivered online; to participate you must to be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.

Recommended reading

To participate in the course you will need to have regular access to the Internet and you will need to buy the following book: Welch, Evelyn : Art in Renaissance Italy, Oxford, Oxford University Press (2000)

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Course Content

The areas you will cover in this course are:

  • The Renaissance in Italy
  • The Production of Art
  • Materials and Processes
  • Patronage
  • Civic Power: Art on the streets
  • Institutional Devotion
  • Religious material culture
  • Art and the Home
  • Art and the Expression of Self
  • Contrasts and Comparisons


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