Renaissance + Baroque Rome: Program Overview

J TERM 2024
JANUARY 2 - JANUARY 13, 2024


This course provides firsthand, direct knowledge of Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture through an intensive program of on-site visits in Rome. The course complements the extensive on-grounds teaching in Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture at the University.

The goal of this course is twofold. First, it gives students a deeper understanding of the specificity of objects and sites, that is, their materials, texture, scale, size, proportions, colors, and volumes, all elements that are almost completely lost in classroom teaching, which is entirely based on digital images. Second, it provides students with a full understanding of the importance of original location for the interpretation of Renaissance art. Unlike modern art, Renaissance & Baroque art was originally tied to a defined location and made to serve a specific purpose, be it devotional, civic, or celebratory. Guided by these two notions, the course is based on extensive walks through the urban fabric of Rome and in-depth visits to works of art and architecture.

On-site visits combine lectures with active student participation, so that students practice on-site strategies to analyze, decode, and interpret Renaissance art and architecture through the visual and material clues contained in the works of art themselves.

The course meets daily for approximately 5 hours (excluding breaks and meals).

This program is open to undergraduate students from across the University with a strong interest in the history of art and architecture.

The program is based in Rome, the capital of Italy. The city of nearly 3 million residents is located along the shores of the Tiber River in the central-western portion of the peninsula. Rome was founded in 753 BCE and is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in Europe. The historic city center is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Renaissance & Baroque Rome
ARTH 3255 or ARH 3500; 3 credits

This three-credit course, ARTH 3255 ("Renaissance Art on Site") or ARH 3500 ("Special Topics in Architectural History: Renaissance and Baroque Rome"), provides firsthand, direct knowledge of Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture through an intensive program of on-site visits in Rome.

  • Architectural History students: this course fulfills the European or Mediterranean requirement.

  • Art History students: this course fulfills either the Europe world region requirement or the 1400-1800 historical period requirement.

  • College of Arts & Sciences students in the Traditional Curriculum: it fulfills the Fine Arts requirement. In the New Curriculum, ARTH 3255 counts for one of two categories: Artistic, Interpretive, & Philosophical Inquiry or Historical Perspectives.

ARH 3500 / ARTH 3255 Sample Syllabus

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