ARTH 232
Renaissance Rome: Renovating the Eternal City Spring 2022
Division I

Class Details

George Eliot called Rome “the city of visible history,” a place with the power to bring “the past of a whole hemisphere” right before our eyes. The magnetic visual power of Rome did not just occur naturally, however; it is a product of a bold urban project first envisioned by Renaissance popes and brought into being by the artists and architects they hired. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Rome was transformed from a shrinking and neglected medieval town into a thriving center of artistic energy and invention. Beginning with the papacy’s return to the city in 1417, we will focus on the historical, ideological, and artistic forces behind this period of renovation and restoration that reshaped the urban and artistic fabric of the city. We will study the particularly Roman foundations for the period known as the High Renaissance, then, approaching art historical touchstones by Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bramante as works grounded in a uniquely Roman sense of time and historical destiny. We will conclude with a selective look at Baroque works by Caravaggio, Bernini and Borromini, exploring their powerful innovations and effects as a continuation of the Renaissance renewal of the eternal city.
The Class: Format: seminar; lecture
Limit: 12
Expected: 12
Class#: 3808
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 10-12 page research paper with multiple components (including prospectus, annotated bibliography, presentation); take-home midterm exam, 3 image-based quizzes; ungraded mapping assignments
Prerequisites: none; open to Art majors as well as non-majors
Enrollment Preferences: Art majors and students following other majors with specific curricular interest in Roman history
Distributions: Division I

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