Eccentric Cities: Art, Politics & Trade in Italy, 1100-1400 - HOA00059I

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  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Emanuele Lugli
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19
    • See module specification for other years: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2018-19

Module aims

This survey course chronicles the dazzling rise to power of Italian cities from the twelfth to the early fifteenth century. Politically, it details the struggle between the communes (Italy's city-republics) and the German emperors, the rise of the 'signori', the Italian contribution to the crusades, the establishment of the court and the unprecedented network that Italian merchants developed across the Mediterranean Sea. Artistically, it explores the transformations from devotional icons to large secular frescos, and from wooden crucifixes to the papal sculptural tombs of the Trecento. The seminar will provide detailed analysis of the work of Nicola Pisano, Simone Martini, Giotto, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, and Vitale da Bologna, among others. Yet, contrary to similar surveys, it also situates the Italian peninsula within the larger Mediterranean and European artistic milieu. Italy, after all, did not grow in isolation but in continuous exchange with its geographical surroundings. In this course we'll then see how Venice appropriated Syrian rock-crystal ewers, Pisa employed a Greek architect for its enormous cathedral and Sicily developed a multi-lingual culture that produced Palermos original Palatine Chapel.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have:

  • Acquired a familiarity with some of the key works of medieval Italy.
  • Obtained a basic understanding of key historical and cultural phenomena of medieval Southern Europe and the Mediterranean Region.
  • Developed a critical attitude towards texts, historical evidence, buildings and the nature of artefacts.
  • Improved their writing and presentation skills.

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark Group
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Seminar Oral Performance
N/A 10 A
University - closed examination
Eccentric Cities: Art, Politic
N/A 90 A
Essay/coursework
3000 word essay
N/A 90 B
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Seminar Oral Performance
N/A 10 B

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark Group
University - closed examination
Eccentric Cities: Art, Politic
N/A 90 A
Essay/coursework
3000 word essay
N/A 90 B

Module feedback

Feedback on formative essay within one week.

Feedback on summative exams within six weeks.

Indicative reading

  • White, Art and Architecture in Italy, 1250-1400
  • Baxandall, Giotto and the Orators
  • Hoffman, Late Antique and Medieval Art ofthe Mediterranean World
  • Thompson, Cities of God: The Religion of the Italian Communes, 1125 - 1325
  • Waley, The Italian City Republics
  • Cannon, Art, Politics, and Civic Religion in Central Italy, 1261-1352
  • Frugoni, A Distant City



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.