HOA413 Art, Faith, and Power in Late Medieval Italy (Fall, Spring)

Examines Italian painting, sculpture, and architecture from c. 1250 to 1400. Situates important works, patrons, and artists in their stylistic, geographical, social, political, and religious contexts. Also addresses the techniques of late medieval artists.

The central drive of this course is to trace artistic exchange between medieval Italy and the world, examining the influence of Byzantine and Islamic arts on the visual cultures of cities like Florence, Pisa, and Palermo. From the first Italian traders on the Silk Road to arrival of the Black Death in the peninsula in 1348, mercantile trade connected Italy to peoples of diverse religions and artistic interests. Artists like Giotto di Bondone and Simone Martini actively incorporated elements from these sources, including motifs from both the Mongolian and Mamluk Empires. By mapping visual and economic connections from select Italian city-states to Constantinople, Alexandria, and Avignon, we will investigate key modes of cross-cultural interaction and the geographical extent of exchange in the medieval Mediterranean.

Course-Related Fee: covers day trip to Padua and Florence site visits (amount TBA).

Department: History of Art

Location: Florence

Semesters: Fall, Spring

Credits: 3