Fall 2007

The Axis of Art Between France and Italy in the Renaissance and Baroque Eras

Listed in: European Studies, as EUST-46


Nicola M. Courtright (Section 01)


(Also Art and Art History 91-01.) From the time of Francis I, French kings admired and envied the surfeit of antiquities that came to be preserved in Medici bulwarks in Florence and the papal palace in the Vatican, as well as the splendid art created by Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Bernini, among others. In Florence and Rome, artists had long collaborated with rulers both secular and sacred to create an ideal of rulership that would aid their political aims, and French rulers followed suit with ever-increasing success in fashioning an ideology of rule of their own that incorporated powerful Italian artistic models. We will examine this exchange of art and political ideology from the beginning of Francis I's reign, through the regencies of the Medici queens Catherine and Marie, and culminating in the kingship of Louis XIV as seen in the royal residences of Fontainebleau, the Louvre and Versailles as well as in the royal collections. To understand the character of the exchange, the class will also dwell on important projects in Renaissance and Baroque Florence and Rome, as well as the way political and artistic theories worked to inform the art and architecture of rule. Requisite: One art history course or consent of the instructor. Limited to 12 students. Professor Courtright.

First class

Owing to the strange scheduling system we have at the beginning of the fall semester, our first class is not until Wed., Sept. 12.  I'll e-mail you beforehand to suggest some reading.