Continuity and Innovation: Reframing Italian Renaissance Art from Masaccio to Michelangelo - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Continuity and Innovation: Reframing Italian Renaissance Art from Masaccio to Michelangelo

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Continuity and Innovation: Reframing Italian Renaissance Art from Masaccio to Michelangelo

Hans Memling Portrait of a Man with a Coin of the Emperor Nero (Bernardo Bembo) ca. 1473-4 Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten

Dr Scott Nethersole, Dr Paula Nuttall, and Dr Guido Rebecchini

This team-taught MA looks at Italian art from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. In order to enrich our understanding of the period, we will examine the visual arts in well-known centres, such as Florence, Rome and Venice, but also expand the reach of our interests to include several less-known cities, such as Perugia, Siena, Bologna, Parma, Mantua, and Naples. Our discussions on different art-historical narratives and on a broad range of themes such as authorship, originality, invention, and imitation will complicate our ideas about Italian renaissance art, allowing new and often unexpected insights into the works of both celebrated artists and of other figures who are less commonly considered in standard discussions of the period. Furthermore, by looking at the working practices and the visual languages of a range of artists, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Parmigianino, Giulio Romano, and Titian we will discuss issues of collaboration, competition, dissemination of visual ideas, and, more broadly, notions of change and continuity. We will approach the art of the period thematically, interrogating what has long constituted an art-historical canon in new ways, consistent with the most recent art-historical methodological and theoretical questions.

The course is structured across three terms. In the first term you will learn together with all MA students in the Renaissance section.  These classes will be a mixture of lectures and discussions in larger groups with two tutors, and in smaller seminars directed at developing specific visual and textual skills. The second term will be focused on an in-depth engagement with specific special options. These change year on year, but might include themes such as the translation and dissemination of visual idioms through prints and drawings, the interaction between Italian and Northern European art, and the role of antiquities in shaping Renaissance art. In the third term you will conduct research towards the final dissertation under close supervision, which will prepare you to conduct independent research at an advanced level, whether through a PhD or in a professional environment.

In encouraging discussion on intellectual and theoretical questions, we will learn through active engagement and discussion with tutors and peers. Special attention will be devoted to first-hand engagement with works of art, whether in The Courtauld Gallery, in London collections, or in our study trips to Italy and elsewhere.

A reading knowledge of Italian is highly desirable for this course.

Courtauld Course Lecturer

About the lecturer

Guido Rebecchini read History of Art at the Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, before going to the Università degli Studi di Siena, where he took a MA on the “Tradizione dell’Antico nel Medioevo e nel Rinascimento”. In 2000, he obtained his PhD at the Warburg Institute and has subsequently taught at the Università di Siena from 2001 until 2009 and at the New York University and Syracuse University study-abroad centres in Florence in the years 2010-2012. He joined The Courtauld Institute of Art in Autumn 2013 as Lecturer in Sixteenth-Century Southern European Art.

Guido will teach this course in collaboration with Dr Scott Nethersole and Dr Paula Nuttall.

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