The Italian Renaissance

Art 254

Syllabus and Review List

Note: A * beside an item means that it is important and should be learned if you can find it, but it is not in the set book.

Courses Introduction What you should be doing now

SECTION I: Florence


  1. Competition and North Doors
    Read: 177-81
    • Ghiberti, Sacrifice of Isaac (competition panel), 1401-3
    • Donatello, Sacrifice of Isaac (competition panel), 1401-3
    • Ghiberti, North doors, Baptistery, Florence, 1403-24, for Woolworkers guild
  2. Cathedral sculpture (Nanni and Donatello)
    Read: 181-83

  3. Orsanmichele (Donatello, Nanni, Ghiberti)
    Read: 183-86
    • Donatello, St George, Orsanmichele, c.1410-15, for Armorers guild
    • Donatello, St Mark, Orsanmichele, 1411-13, for Linenworkers guild
    • Nanni di Banco, Four Martyrs, Orsanmichele, c.1416-16, for Masons and Carpenters
  4. Frescoes (Giotteschi, Monaco), altarpieces (Monaco, Fabriano); Masaccio
    Read: 191-99, 200-05
    • Gentile da Fabriano, Adoration of the Magi (Strozzi Altarpiece), Strozzi chapel, Sta Trinita, Florence, 1423, for Palla Strozzi
    • Masaccio, Madonna and Child (central panel of Pisa Polyptych), 1426, for Carmelite chapel in Sta Maria del Carmine, Pisa
    • Masaccio, The Tribute Money, Brancacci Chapel, Sta Maria del Carmine, Florence, c.1424-27, for Pietro Brancacci
    • Masaccio, Trinity Fresco, Sta Maria Novella, Florence, c.1426-27, for Lenzi family
  5. Gates of Paradise (Ghiberti); S Marco and Strozzi Altarpieces (Fra Angelico)
    Read: 216-18, 206-13, 223-24
    • Ghiberti, The Gates of Paradise (East doors), Baptistery, Florence, 1425-52, for Woolworkers guild
    • Fra Angelico, San Marco Altarpiece (sacra conversazione), for High Altar, San Marco, Florence, 1440
    • *Fra Angelico, Deposition (Strozzi Altarpiece), Strozzi chapel, Sta Trinita, Florence, 1434, for Palla Strozzi to complement Gentile da Fabriano's
  6. Decoration of Medici Palace (Uccello, Gozzoli, Pollaiulo)
    Read: 225-29
    • Benozzo Gozzoli, Journey of the Magi, Medici chapel, Medici palace, Florence, c.1459, for Piero de' Medici
    • Paolo Uccello, The Battle of San Romano, 1430s, one of three for a bedroom in the Medici Palace
    • Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Hercules and Anteus, early 1470s, statuette for Medici family
  7. Mid century painting (Lippi, Veneziano, Castagno)
    Read: 232-35
    • Fra Filippo Lippi, Tarquinia Madonna, 1437, for Giovanni Vitelleschi
    • Fra Filippo Lippi, Coronation of the Virgin (Barbadori Altarpiece), 1447, for Francesco Maringhi for main altar, Sant'Ambrobio, Florence
    • Domenicho Veneziano, St Lucy Altarpiece, c.1445-47, for main altar of Sta Lucia de Manoli, Florence
    • Andrea del Castagno, Last Supper, refectory of Sant'Apollonia, Florence, 1447
  8. CLASS DISCUSSION: How consistent is Florentine art at this period? Can it be categorised into types, and are there any general developmental tendencies?

    Courses Introduction What you should be doing now

    PART II - Dispersal


  9. Donatello in Florence and Padua
    Read: 229-32, 265-68
    • Donatello, Bronze David, 1440s?, for courtyard in Medici palace
    • Donatello, High Altar (the Santo altar), San Antonio, Padua, 1446-53
    • Donatello, Gattamelata, Santo Piazza, Padua, 1447-53, for wife and son
    Seminar: Characterise the mood of Donatello's work in bronze, and characterise his attitude to the Classical.

  10. Mantegna in Padua, Verona and Mantua
    Read: 268-69, 289-93
    • Mantegna, St James being led to his execution, Ovetari chapel, church of the Eremitani, Padua, c.1455-56, for Empress Ovetari for husband's burial chapel
    • Mantegna, San Zeno Altarpiece, high altar San Zeno, Verona, 1456-69
    • Mantegna, Camera Picta ceiling, ducal palace, Mantua, 1465-75, for Ludovico Gonzaga, duke of Mantua
    Seminar: How many different kinds of illusion does Mantegna create? What is his attitude to his audience? See if you can find his Christo Scorto and discuss it too.

  11. Altarpieces in Venice, painting, scuole
    Read: 270-80
    • Antonello da Messina, Enthroned Madonna and child with saints (San Cassiano altarpiece), San Cassiano, Venice, 1475-76, for Pietro Bon
    • Giovanni Bellini, San Giobbe Altarpiece, San Giobbe, Venice, by 1478, for Confraternity of St Job
    • Antonello da Messina, St Jerome in his study, by 1475?
    • Giovanni Bellini, Madonna Lochis, 1470s (a devotional image)
    Seminar: What features do you find in Venetian painting that are missing from the rest of the work we have seen so far?
    Seminar: How do these features contribute to its impact on us as its audience? See if you can find Giovanni Bellini's Milan Pietà and discuss it too.

  12. Donatello returns to Florence
    Read: 229-32
    • Donatello, Judith and Holofernes, late 1450s? for a garden in the Medici palace, Florence (later transferred to Loggia della Signoria)
    • Donatello, North and South pulpits, San Lorenzo, Florence, c.1460-66, for Cosimo de' Medici
    • *Donatello, Penitent Magdalene, Baptistery, Florence, c.1453?
    Seminar: Something has happened to Donatello's art. What is it? How do you suppose his audience and patrons reacted to it?
    Seminar: Why do you suppose these late works tend to be ignored by scholars? Try to take the Penitent Magdalene into account.


  13. Verrocchio, Leonardo and Botticelli
    Read: 294-5 (try also to find images of his Bronze David and his Colleoni Monument)
    • *Botticelli, Adoration of the Magi (Uffizi Adoration), Sta Maria Novella, Florence, early 1470s?, for merchant Guasparre Dal Lama (hostile to Medici)
    • Leonardo, Adoration of the Magi, left incomplete 1482, for San Donato a Scopeto, Florence
    • Botticelli, Adoration of the Magi (Washington Adoration), early 1480s
    Seminar: Compare Leonardo's Adoration with Botticelli's two. What new elements do you find in Leonardo's work and how do they affect your response to it?

  14. Antiquarianism; Botticelli
    Read: 300, 301-2
    • Botticelli, Primavera, for Pierfrancesco de' Medici?, c.1482
    • *Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, for Pierfrancesco de' Medici?, c.1484-86
    Characterise Botticelli's mood, style and content. Is his work "easy"?


  15. Rome, Sistine Chapel walls
    Read: 305-08
    • Botticelli, Punishment of Corah, Sistine chapel wall, 1481-2, for Sixtus IV
    • Perugino, Christ giving the keys to Peter, Sistine chapel wall, 1481-2
    Seminar: Compare Botticelli's style on the Sistine chapel walls with those of his peers in the same project, and also with his own work elsewhere. How much control do you think the patron had with respect to style?

  16. Milan, Leonardo
    Read: 314-23
    • Leonardo, Last Supper, refectory of Sta Maria della Gracie, Milan, 1495-7/8, for Ludovico Sforza
    • Leonardo, The Madonna of the Rocks, for the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, San Francesco Grande, Milan, 1483-1508
    • Leonardo, study for the Sforza monument, c.1488
    Seminar: Highlight Leonardo's ARTISTIC experiments. What do they imply about his attitude to contemporary art? Try to find his Louvre Madonna and Child with St Anne and discuss it too.

    Courses Introduction What you should be doing now


  17. Michelangelo
    Read: 326-30
    • *Michelangelo, Pietà, for burial chapel of Cardinal Jean de Bihlères, St Peter's, Rome, 1498/9-1500
    • Michelangelo, David, for buttress pinnacle, Florence cathedral, 1501-4
    • Michelangelo, Battle of Cascina, for Council Hall, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, left incomplete in 1506
    • Leonardo, Battle of Anghiari, for Council Hall, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, left incomplete in 1506
    Seminar: Compare Michelangelo's sculpture with that of his predecessors and contemporaries. Does he seem to be critiqueing it? Be sure to find the St Peter's Pietà and discuss it too.
    Seminar: Compare and contrast Leonardo's and Michelangelo's battle scenes. Do you think the issue of emotional power was important to these artists? How did each tackle it?

  18. Portraits
    Read: 330-32
    • Leonardo, Mona Lisa, c.1503
    • Raphael, Maddalena Strozzi Doni, c.1506
    • Raphael, Pope Julius II, c.1512
    Seminar: Look for portraits by Botticelli, and Piero (p 283). If these are representative of the Early Renaissance portrait, what do you think Raphael learned from Leonardo? Try to find Raphael's portrait of Castiglione and discuss it too.

  19. Michelangelo, the Julius Tomb and Sistine Ceiling
    Read: 342-47
    • Michelangelo, Sistine Chapel ceiling, Vatican, Rome, 1508-12, for Julius II
    • Be able to list its narrative scenes, to classify the large figures who appear between the spandrels, to classify the groups of figures who appear in the spandrels, and to give the term for the naked youths on the parapet.
    Seminar: Compare and contrast Sistine and Picta ceilings distinguishing the strengths of each artist. Say which strengths are probably most prized by posterity and why.

  20. DISCUSSION: differing interpretations of the ceiling (handout)

  21. Vatican Stanze
    Read: 347-52
    • Raphael, Disputà, Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican, Rome, 1510-11, for Julius II
    • Raphael, School of Athens, Stanza della Segnatura, Vatican, Rome, 1510-11, for Julius II
    Seminar: Compare the Stanze della Segnatura with the Sistine Chapel walls; does Raphael seem to be critiqueing them?

  22. Giorgione, Early Titian
    Read: 355-60
    • Giovanni Bellini, Enthroned Madonna and Child with saints (San Zaccaria Altarpiece), San Zaccaria, Venice, 1505
    • Giorgione, Enthroned Madonna and Child with saints (Castelfranco Altarpiece), Castelfranco cathedral, c.1504? for Tuzio Costanzo
    • Giorgione, La Tempestà, c.1509, possibly for Gabriele Vendramin, Venice
    • Giorgione and Titian, Sleeping Venus (Dresden Venus), c.1510, possibly for Girolamo Marcello, Venice
    • Giorgione or Titian, Pastoral Concert (Fête Champêtre), c.1509-10
    • Titian, Sacred and Profane Love, c.1514 for Niccolò Aurelio, Venice
    Seminar: What do these artists have in common w their central Italian contemporaries? Are they satisfied w central values, or are they offering something else as well?

  23. More Titian
    Read: 360-61
    • Titian, Assumption of the Virgin, main altar Sta Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice, 1516-18, for Germano da Caiole
    • Titian, Pesaro Altarpiece, Pesaro chapel, Sta Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice, 1519-26, for Jacopo Pesaro
    Seminar: How do these altarpieces differ from earlier ones in Venice and Central Italy? Why do you suppose the Frari nearly refused to pay Titian for his Assumption? How were they persuaded, and what does their ultimate acceptance say about changing contemporary attitudes?

  24. DISCUSSION: Why did central Italian artists try so hard to find gestural ways of making the body expressive? What did the Venetians do to be expressive? How does the idea of emotional expression relate to or conflict with Classical values?

    Courses Introduction What you should be doing now

    PART III - Mannerism


  25. Pleasure rooms and villas (Raphael, Titian, Giulio, Correggio)
    Read: 363-70, 352-3
    • Raphael's workshop, Wedding of Cupid and Psyche, garden loggia, Villa Farnesina, Rome, 1518-19, for Agostino Chigi (who owned the villa)
    • Giovanni Bellini, Feast of the Gods, Albaster Pleasure Room, Ducal Palace, Ferrara, 1514, with additions by Titian and Dossi in 1429, for Alfonso d'Este
    • Titian, Bacchus and Ariadne, Albaster Pleasure Room, Ducal Palace, Ferrara, 1522-23, for Alfonso d'Este, duke of Ferrara
    • Giulio Romano, Wedding of Cupid and Psyche, Sala di Psiche, Palazzo del Tè, Mantua, 1527-30 (picnic and party villa in the countryside)
    • Correggio, Jupiter and Io, Pleasure Room, Ducal Palace, Mantua, early 1530s for Federigo Gonzaga, duke of Mantua
    Seminar: What similarities and differences do you find between these works and those of the High Renaissance? What thematic implications arise from the Venetian response to Classical values?

  26. Parmigianino, Bronzino, Giambologna, Cellini
    Read: 370-73, 400-401
    • Parmigianino, Madonna of the Long Neck, for Baiardi Chapel, Santa Maria dei Servi, Parma, 1534 (left incomplete 1540), for Elena Baiardi
    • Bronzino, Allegory with Venus and Cupid (Allegory of Time), mid 1540s, from Cosimo I de' Medici for Francis I, king of France
    • Benvenuto Cellini, Perseus, Loggia della Signoria, Florence, 1545-54, for Cosimo I de' Medici (as companion piece to Donatello's Judith and Holofernes)
    • Giambologna, The Rape of the Sabine, Loggia della Signoria, Florence, 1579-83 (before completion it already replaced Donatello's Judith and Holofernes)
    Seminar: What stylistic features do these artists have in common? Try to define the style and character of the Maniera.
    Seminar: What effects do they seem to be trying to achieve through their style? Are these effects intended for public or private consumption, do you think?


  27. Sarto, Pontormo (Deposition, Visitation), Rosso, Bandinelli
    Read: 332-5
    • Andrea del Sarto, Madonna of the Harpies, for high altar San Francesco, Via Pentolini, Florence, 1517
    • Rosso Fiorentino, Dei Altarpiece, Dei Chapel, Santo Spirito, Florence, 1522
    • *Pontormo, Deposition, Capponi Chapel, Sta Felicita, Florence, 1525-28
    • Baccio Bandinelli, Hercules and Cacus, Piazza della Signoria, Florence, 1525-34, for the Medici
    Seminar: How do these works compare or contrast with those of the High Renaissance?
    Seminar: What effect(s) do these Florentine Mannerists seem to be trying to achieve? Try to find images of the whole of the Capponi Chapel, and of Rosso's Descent from the Cross (1521), now in Volterra, and consider them too.

  28. Last Judgement, Michelangelo
    Read: 402-04
    • Michelangelo, Last Judgement, Sistine Chapel altar wall, 1534-41, for Pope Paul III
    Seminar: Try to imagine this image without the clothes. Why do you think the Pope collapsed with horror when he first saw it? Was this Michelangelo's intention, do you think?

  29. Later Titian, and Tintoretto
    Read: 386-91 (what has happened to his style and mood?); 391-94
    • Tintoretto, Annunciation, entrance room of Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice, 1587
    • *Tintoretto, Last Supper, San Giorgio Maggiore, 1592-4, probably for Prior Michele Alabardi
    Seminar: Consider the Scuola Grande Annunciation and the S Giorgio Maggiore Last Supper, and explain how Tintoretto's concept of the spiritual differs from Raphael's. Try to find other later works by Tintoretto (after 1560) and consider also what is new about his painting style. Pick out some extreme examples.

  30. Perino, Vasari, Farnese Hours, Veronese
    Read: 405-06, 410-11, 417
    • Perino del Vaga, Sala Paolina, Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome, 1545-47, for Pope Paul III
    • Vasari, Paul III directing the construction of St Peter's, Sala dei Cento Gioni, Cancelleria, Rome, 1544, for Alessandro Farnesi
    • Veronese, Feast in the House of Levi, refectory of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, 1573
    Seminar: In your opinion, do Perino, Vasari and Veronese practice the Maniera or the Counter Maniera? What do they seem to be trying to achieve?

  31. DISCUSSION: Do the Mannerists seem to think they are developing or replacing High Renaissance values in art? Does their programme seem to change at all? If so, how would you characterise its later phase? (Pick these questions to pieces.)


  32. Artists everywhere
    Read: 414-18 - The North: Veronese, Moretto, Moroni
    421-22 - Florence: Agnolo Bronzino, Guidacci
    425-26 - Rome: Valeriani and Celio, Pulzone
    Discuss: What problems did the Council of Trent claim to see in Mannerist religious art? Were their claims justified? If the art of the Counter Reformation shows a return to earlier values, how complete is this return? Characterise this new art.

    Courses Introduction What you should be doing now