The Renaissance at home - decorative art in the Italian Renaissance interior
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VB575
Duration: 5 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
The Renaissance is generally associated with magnificent paintings, ambitious architectural achievement and large-scale sculpture, but the period saw an equally remarkable transformation in the domestic interior and the decorative arts that is frequently overlooked. There was a huge expansion in the production of objects made for domestic use and these items have a fascinating history of their own. In this course we shall explore this smaller Renaissance, studying some of the plethora of objects made for the domestic interior, many of which survive today in museum collections.
This art history course provides an opportunity to discover how inhabitants of Renaissance palazzi furnished and arranged their homes. We will study the different types of evidence used by historians, in the absence of surviving authentic interiors, to reconstruct the appearance of the Renaissance home. We will explore the drivers behind the marked increase in demand for decorated domestic objects in the Renaissance period and we will discuss how items were displayed and used. Through close study of surviving objects, we will trace the development of production techniques and styles for the fashionable interior, including furniture, textiles, maiolica, glass, cutlery and paintings.
Join us for this in-depth tour of the Italian Renaissance home.
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 expansion in demand for decorated objects in the home in 15th and 16th-century Italy
• How historians reconstruct the appearance of Renaissance home interiors
• How the spaces of the Renaissance home were used
• Close study of objects and art made for the Renaissance domestic interior
• Production techniques used in the fabricating of fashionable domestic objects.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Discuss reasons for the increased demand for luxury homewares in the Renaissance period
• Discuss the sources used by historians to reconstruct the appearance of the Renaissance home
• Understand how the rooms in the Renaissance home were used and how this differs from the way homes are used today
• Identify furnishings and objects popular in the Renaissance home and discuss how these were acquired and used
• Recognise techniques used to make fashionable objects for the Renaissance home, such as maiolica ware and intarsia.
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 online with slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course; these 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 provided.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might also be interested in:
VB586 - The Beastly Renaissance - the meaning of animals in Renaissance Art.
Lydia is an art historian specialising in the art and material culture of the Italian Renaissance. Lydia holds a BA in Renaissance history from the University of Warwick, and an MA in Art History from the University of Sussex. She was awarded her PhD from The Warburg Institute in 2020 for her thesis on artistic patronage in early modern Perugia. Lydia’s research interests centre on the Umbrian region of Italy and include confraternities, workshop practice, and the production of Tovaglie Perugine. She has taught at Sussex University and lectures widely on the Italian Renaissance. She is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
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.