HOA411 The Black Death and Medieval Art: Catastrophes & Cultural Change (Fall, Spring)

During a dynamic time of transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Florence and Siena emerged as international superpowers. Then came the so-called “Black Death,” a terrible plague which wiped out one-half to two-thirds of the population of major European cities. Through the study of painting and sculpture from 1260 to 1380, this course examines how reactions to the medieval plague may have been reflected in the art of the period. It also draws parallels between modern day disasters and disease—from the onset of AIDS to the recent devastation of 9/11—in considering the theory that a catastrophe can effect the evolution of art.

Pre-req: at least one course in art history or in any aspect of Renaissance history or culture or consent of the instructor required.

Course-related fee: A fee will be charged to cover the costs of day trips to Pisa/Lucca and Padua, plus Florence site visits (2019-20 fee = $360).

Department: History of Art

Location: Florence

Semesters: Fall, Spring

Credits: 3