"XVIth and XVIIth century Art and Papal Patronage"

SPRING SEMESTER 2008

Prof. Irene Baldriga


N.B. THIS SEMESTER THE COURSE WILL BE COTAUGHT BY PROF. BALDRIGA AND PROF. RACIOPPIThis web site is meant to function as a virtual noticeboard to be consulted by students periodically.

News, information and useful hints will be added over the time by the instructor. E-mail contacts are welcome.

To participate and collaborate to the course, all students are strongly encouraged to join the Virtual Classroom (click on the appropriate link, right side).

Description of the course:
The course will be focused on the political and cultural meaning of paintings, sculptures and buildings created mainly in Rome between the 16th and the 17th  century with the support of papal patronage. Not only the latter will be considered as a major impulse to the production of works of art during the Renaissance and the Baroque, but it will be also investigated within the social and historical context of the periods examined (Reformation and Counter-Reformation). The issue of papal patronage will be thus discussed from the perspective of internal and external political expansion, with its nepotistic and private involvements and finally in its complex religious and theological objectives. Equal importance will be given to the stylistic and iconographic consequences produced by papal patronage on the development of 16th and 17th century Italian art history, by taking into consideration the works of some absolute masters such as Michelangelo, Raffaello, Caravaggio and Bernini. The course will unfold on the basis of issues and problems which may induce students to a fruitful discussion in class.

Method of presentation: lectures, seminar discussions, visits to monuments and sights, slides, use of multimedia and internet resources (selected by the instructor), virtual classroom.

Course objectives:

By the end of the course students will have:

-         an outline of  XVIth and XVIIth century European history and geography, with particular attention to the role played by Papacy;

-         a knowledge of the cultural and political aspects of the most important pontificates of the time considered;

-         a familiarity with the work of the principal artists working in Rome during the Renaissance and Baroque;

-         an awareness of the importance of public and private patronage as a major issue to understand the meaning and purpose of art production;

-         a knowledge of the most important artistic enterprises and urbanistic changes commissioned in Rome by Popes during the Renaissance and Baroque as a part of their political strategy;

-         an awareness of the involvements played by Reformation and Counter-Reformation in the development of XVIth and XVIIth century artistic language. 

Course format: since the work of art will be the central focus of the course, classes will be held partly in situ (see the list of visits below).

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