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1 Proposal: number 34

34. ARTH 220: Renaissance Art and the Birth of Modernity

This is a new course

Contact:Peggy Smyth
Abstract:In this course, students will become familiar with the profound innovations in
painting, sculpture, and architecture created in Europe from about 1300 to
1700, which set the course and standards for much of western visual culture
down to the past century. From Giotto to Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and
Rembrandt, we will examine what is meant by the term “Renaissance” in the
visual arts and European society at large, including its contacts and exchanges
with global cultures outside the west. The period was marked by
not only
rebirth of the artistic forms of ancient Greece and Rome, but a broader
reawakening of curiosity about the natural world and human character, about
life here on earth and how it might be shaped and improved by reason and
ingenuity, that led to the modern world. Although the Renaissance has often
been glorified as the triumph of science, secularism, and reason, we will see
how it was energized by a broader tension between the new secular spirit and
the ongoing influence of faith and the church -- a situation that is still with
In addition to the major personalities and cultural centers of Europe, we
will investigate how artistic developments there were influenced by increasing
contacts with Africa, Asia, and the Islamic lands, and how Europeans interacted
with cultures around the world as they explored and colonized the globe,
particularly Latin America. Special attention will be paid to the birth,
goals, and methods of the academic discipline of art history, which was itself
a characteristic invention of the Renaissance period, and how it has changed
over time since its inception.

Submissions and Approvals

Course Date Requirement Action By Whom Notes
ARTH 220 2008-07-16 AP Submitted Dept
ARTH 220 2008-07-16 ET Submitted Dept
ARTH 220 2008-07-16 PI Submitted Dept
ARTH 220 2008-09-03 AP Approved GEAC
ARTH 220 2008-09-03 ET Approved GEAC
ARTH 220 2008-09-03 PI Approved GEAC
ARTH 220 2008-09-11 AP Approved UCC
ARTH 220 2008-09-11 ET Approved UCC
ARTH 220 2008-09-11 PI Approved UCC
ARTH 220 2008-10-02 AP Approved Senate
ARTH 220 2008-10-02 ET Approved Senate
ARTH 220 2008-10-02 PI Approved Senate