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WS3410 Art, Gender and the Body in Medieval and Renaissance Italy

Architecture of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries

Module Organiser: Dr Catherine Lawless
Duration of the Module: Michaelmas term
Contact Hours: 1 two hour seminar per week
Weighting: 20 ECTS
Assessment: Continuous assessment (30%) and two Summer examinations (70%)

The body is central to medieval Christianity and the development of renaissance humanism. This module will examine how bodies and genders were perceived and represented Florentine art from the late Middle Ages to the early modern period. We will examine how femininities and masculinities are constructed and represented in religious and secular spaces. We will look at some key trends in late medieval and Renaissance religious iconography, analyse the relationship between civic and religious cultures through the metaphor and lived reality of the body, and discuss the relationships between civic humanism, religious belief and practice, and artistic patronage.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Identify the key concepts involving gender, the body ad representation in the Italian Renaissance
  • Explain the main trends in late medieval and Renaissance religious and secular iconography
  • Analyse the relationship between civic and religious cultures
  • Determine the ways in which artists of the Renaissance depicted the body.
  • Discuss the limitations and opportunities afforded to women in the Italian Renaissance.
  • Differentiate the primary and secondary sources on gender of the Italian Renaissance.