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Lost Renaissances: Art & Architecture of Medieval Italy and the Mediterranean
ARHA 212
Spring 2018 not offered
Crosslisting: MDST 217

This course traces the multiple though now largely forgotten renaissances, or flourishings of cultural and artistic activity fueled largely by the recuperation of the classical past, in Medieval Italy and across the Mediterranean world. We will examine works of art and architecture of Italian centers including Rome, Sicily, Venice, Pisa, Padua, Siena, and Florence. With an emphasis on the art of intercultural relations in the medieval Mediterranean, we will explore and discuss how the intensive interactions of Roman (pre-Christian), Islamic, and Christian communities during the medieval period, ca. 300--1300, were essentially shaped by works of art.

Together, we will debate the relevancy of present-day ideas in art and politics for understanding past cultures (and vice versa), witness an Islamic caliph's gift of an elephant to a Christian king (and consider how "gifts" could also be "art"), discover the art of hydromancy (water magic), and uncover how a French king in Sicily employed Islamic artists to decorate his pleasure palace. This course explores what the great Spanish historian Americo Castro referred to as "convivencia," the co-existence of medieval cultures, as recorded in intercultural objects of luxury, piety, and beauty. Other themes explored in the course include cultural continuity, the omnipresence of the classical Roman/pagan culture in the Christian empire, the power and use associated with art objects, and the sometimes surprising role of women in the medieval Mediterranean.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (MDST-MN)(MDST)(MDST-Art/Arch)(MDST-History)(MDST-Lang/Lit)(MDST-Phil/Reli)

Last Updated on JUL-22-2024
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