AHIR 310: Italian Renaissance Masters: Art, Invention, and Culture

Instructor: Adrian Hoch, Ph.D.
Credits: 3
Course/Lab Fee: € 200 for museum visits and travel
Prerequisite: None
Cross-Listing: Art History

Course Description
This course examines the major developments in Italian painting, sculpture and architecture and the culture which Michelangelo-David (Mobile)produced them between the 14th through the late 16th centuries. Particular emphasis will be placed on the great artistic centers of Rome and Florence and especially the masters who created monuments in Florence. The artists to be studied include Giotto, Donatello, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, Leonardo, and Michelangelo. Works of art will be discussed in relation to their original location, function, patronage, style, iconography and construction. Furthermore, whenever possible, artistic commissions will be viewed either in their intended locales or elsewhere “on-site.”


Course Objectives

Students will be introduced to different principal painters, sculptors and architects active during the late Medieval and Renaissance periods. They will learn to recognize selected masterpieces and how to analyze their formal and innovative qualities in order to understand the cultural context of these artistic commissions. Students thus will become acquainted with the original uses and functions of art, with stylistic developments, and with religious and secular subject matter. The goal is to develop students’ critical reasoning and analytical approach to art.


Course Materials

F. Hartt and D. Wilkins, History of Italian Renaissance Art, 6th ed., New York 2007.


Field Trips

  • Students will take a day trip to Assisi where they will visit the Basilica of San Francesco. 
  • On an overnight trip to Florence, students will visit the Uffizi Gallery, Santa Croce, the Capponi Chapel at Santa Felicita, and Santo Spirito.