Art and identity: from the High Renaissance to the Reformation
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VB126
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
What is the course about?
Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarotti and Raphael… legendary names and legendary artists of the European High Renaissance. The persistence of their long-standing reputation is such that we do not even question the quality of their art. Why are they so legendary? Was it pure talent or other factors such as the power of the word? In his Lives of the Artists (1550), Giorgio Vasari wrote about these artists in glowing laudatory prose, giving us the concept of the divinely inspired, genius artist. Promoting the idea of the individual artist driven by the concept of humanism, this approach has a weighty legacy in how we view western art. This morning 5-session art history course explores the art of these artists in the context of ‘self-fashioning’ and how the mythic status of the artist comes into being. We will discuss these artists in the context of emerging identity and how the artists themselves developed intellectually.
The northern artist, such as Albrecht Dürer, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Hans Holbein and Pieter Brueghel will also be covered and we will look at their art in the light of the Reformation and whether a changing religious world influenced the way they painted. We will consider their religious, landscape and portrait painting to see how meanings and changing religious values are conveyed at what has been seen as a turbulent time, where church and liturgical reform were a driving force. We will consider how artists became the visual ‘face’ to self-fashion a new and dynamic religious and political climate. Different types of art such as scenes of everyday life became more common, as the 16th century brought about an increased value on creative ambition and new genres in art.
While art history has its own distinctive visual language, we will see how the written word plays an enormous role in how we assess art and artists through close analysis of works of art and primary texts.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• The reputation and perceived legendary status of High Renaissance artists
• Relevant works of art by some of the legendary 16th-century artists from Italy and the Netherlands
• The role of art in history and how the appearance of 16th-century art is shaped by the Reformation.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Evaluate a variety of sources to consider the reputation of High Renaissance artists
• Communicate ideas and join in group discussions analysing works of art
• Think critically about established visual traditions and how they are explored through key historical events such as the Reformation.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught with slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts of key reading will be provided by your tutor (through online) to support your learning on the course. Handouts will also be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course. Handouts will be available online/digitally for download, not printed out for you.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to purchase a notebook for taking notes. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might also be interested in:
• VB147: Art and power: from the Counter Reformation to the Baroque
• VB148: Art and Empire: in the Early Modern Era
• VB149: Art and Revolution: in the long 18th century
• VB152: Art and Anxiety: from the Enlightenment to the Victorian age
• VB857: Art and science
• VB888: Art and critical theory: ways to think about art - vision and gaze
• VB889: Art and critical theory: feminism, post-colonialism and the death of the artist.
Emma Rose Barber is an art historian who has been teaching adults for over 25 years. She specialises in the visual culture of the Middle Ages and the Italian and Northern Renaissance. She has also taught classes on British art and has designed many different courses such as Last Suppers in Florence and Bosch, Breughel and the Surrealists. She has also given lectures on Women and Art. She used to run the history of art department at the British Institute in Florence and works for many institutions such as the Open University, Morley College and the department of continuing education at the University of Oxford. Her book – 111 Churches that you Shouldn’t Miss in London - is coming out in the autumn of 2020. She has spent the last five years with a Mini A-Z looking for churches to write about, many of which can be found on her blog – https://theitinerantchurchgoer.wordpress.com/. She is also writing a Cultural History of Wayfaring and writes articles for Selvedge Magazine.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.