This module teaches students about the major artists of the Italian Renaissance. Focusing on the famous sixteenth century text by Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Most Famous Painters, Sculptors and Architects (1568), it examines the life and work of Italian artists from 1250 to 1600. Vasari’s Lives provides a wealth of detail about the world of the artist in the Renaissance, about patrons and patronage, guilds and workshops, the classical revival, the Medici family, and the notion of artistic ‘genius’. Told in a fiercely entertaining and amusing style, Vasari’s text charts the rise of the artist in society from the craftsmen of the late Middle Ages to the great artistic personalities of the Renaissance, capable of conversing with popes and monarchs alike, and moving in the corridors of power. Artists, sculptors and architects studied include: Giotto, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo.
The first year field trip in February includes a visit to the National Gallery, London, for a tour of the Italian Renaissance paintings of the Sainsbury Wing.
Assessment: 100% coursework