In the histories of Europe, the Italian Renaissance period has been long considered of signal importance. Specifically, the Renaissance has often been viewed as the turning point in the history of western civilization when modernity (and modern art) was born. However, the claims made on behalf of the Italian Renaissance's seminal nature are often fuzzy ones. In fact, there is little agreement about when the Renaissance started, just as its geographical contours of the era in question remain ill-defined (Italy did not exist as a unified polity at the time). To better understand the period and its art, this class will seek to scrutinize claims made on behalf of the Renaissance. It will sample some of the controversies surrounding its definition and will seek to explore what exactly about the Renaissance was new, and why that novelty mattered. Ultimately, the class will offer a critical history of Italian Renaissance art and its historiography and work towards a definition of the era that fits the facts on the ground.
Professor Christian Kleinbub
UG class #34580
G class #34675
ONLINE Synchronous, Tues & Thurs 11:10-12:30