HS/AH 231 - The Renaissance and Its Classical Heritage
The aim of this course is to illustrate the fundamental role played by the ancient classical world in Italian Renaissance art: between the 15th and the 16th centuries, the classical heritage (ancient Greek and Roman) became a source of inspiration to regenerate both the society and culture of Renaissance Italy. The ground was slowly prepared by the still empirical approaches to the antiquity of Nicola Pisano (sculptor) and Cavallini and Giotto (painters), active between the end of the 13th century and the beginning of the 14th century. The course starts with the study of these late medieval artists, then it moves on to the Early Renaissance Art in republican Florence (the first “revolutionary” generation of Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio) and its sudden spread to the other courts of the Italian peninsula. The different artistic languages maturated in each Italian court by the contact with the Florentine innovations find a great synthesis in the decoration of the Sistine Chapel in Rome (1481-82) and, later, in the masterpieces of Raffaello and Michelangelo.