Skip to main content

Introduction to the Arts of the Italian Renaissance

Program(s): Summer College, Undergraduate Courses

*Taught Online*  This course will cover the major themes and works of the Italian Renaissance, including painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and architecture. We will consider stylistic development of the arts from the period of roughly 1300 (late Medieval/pre-Renaissance predecessors) to 1560. Throughout the course we will interrogate the concept of “Renaissance” as a unifying term and examine its relationship to the Medieval in terms of both continuity and change. A major focus of the course will be the functions of different media in this time period, and we will consider patronage, multiple viewerships, and access. We will explore how, for whom, and why works were created, and interrogate the relevance of the category ‘fine arts’ as it is commonly understood to the Renaissance. Additional themes will be: artistic practice, especially collaboration and competition; regional styles; the relationship of art in this period to the intellectual, political, and spiritual climate(s) of the time.

Objectives for students: Students will learn to identify period styles, as well as major iconographies. Students will also learn to contextualize works of art in terms of patronage and viewership, and be able to identify likely social contexts in which a work of art would be encountered by various audiences. Students will be able to articulate the reason works were made as they were in terms of self-representation by patrons, intellectual and religious trends, and artistic practice.

Objectives as lecturer: As lecturer, I will integrate luxury arts such as goldsmithery and tapestry, as well as more ephemeral arts like festival decoration and prints into the course material to expose students to the wide variety of ‘arts’ that existed in the Renaissance. I will model formal, iconographic, and social analysis of works in my lectures.

Remote or Residential

✓ Remote Course


Course Overview

Current Grade / Education Level

11th Grade
12th Grade
Undergrad / Grad


Summer College
Undergraduate Courses

Start Date

July 05

End Date

July 22

Class Details

Primary Instructor

Joana Konova

Academic Interest

Humanities (e.g., arts, philosophy)

Class Specifics

Course Code

ARTH 14402 91

Class Day(s)

Mon Tues Wed

Class Duration (CST)


4:30 P.M.


Session II

Course Length

5 weeks