French And Italian | Renaissance Florence
M234 | 2576 | Bondanella


M234/A234 is listed jointly by Italian and Art History. It is also
cross-listed with Comparative Literature as C355 (see special
assignment in last paragraph). It is team taught by Julia Bondanella,
Italian, and Bruce Cole, History of Art. M234/A234 is approved for
Culture Studies credit by COAS.

Home to some of the most outstanding artists, writers, and theorists
the world has known, Renaissance Italy, with its ancient memories of
Roman greatness, gave birth to one of the world's greatest cultural
revolutions. The contributions of the city of Florence were crucial to
that revolution: its robust and exuberant vision of human life is
shaped by the Florentine spirit. If you have experienced the darkness,
fire and ice of Dante's hell and the rarified light of his heaven--or
even if you haven't--you will find a different kind of excitement in
the human measure of Boccaccio's often bawdy wit, Giotto's figures,
Donatello's sculptures, Alberti's ideas on the family and
architecture, Machiavelli's controversial political ideas, Leonardo's
painting and scientific orientation. Florentine artists, writers, and
thinkers brought Western ideals down to earth and created a
spectacular heritage for our modern world in which individual talent
and initiative and ideas of progress have come to have a new
significance.

Come join us for a tour of one of the world's great cities; it is a
journey of exploration and discovery. We will take you on a walking
tour of the city, using aerial photographs and slides to show you her
greatest monuments in art and architecture. We will introduce you to
some of Florence's most famous citizens: find out why Vasari called
this period the "rebirth"; why Boccaccio's Decameron was kept locked
up in many libraries in the last century; why Michaelangelo wore
dogskin boots; why Machiavelli, undeserving of the reputation of a
"Machiavellian", is sometimes called the first political scientist;
why Petrarch's love of gardening and mountain climbing was
controversial in his times; why modern songwriters still depict love
in terms of "fire" and "burning"; how Florence was able to bankroll
the Hundred Years War between France and England; why Boccaccio wrote
a story about Giotto; why Cellini told the Pope that artists such as
himself are above the law; why they painted fig leaves on figures in
Michaelangelo's Last Judgement; who inspired Shakespeare's All's Well
That Ends Well; why Boccaccio says "a sin that's hidden is half
forgiven"; and so on.

This course is a survey of Florentine culture of the Renaissance
(1300-1530); the major emphasis will be upon such artists and writers
as Giotto, Boccaccio, Masaccio, Donatello, Lorenzo de' Medici,
Leonardo da Vinci, Leon Battista Alberti, Machiavelli, Michaelangelo,
Vasari, and Benevenuto Cellini. There are opportunities for class
participation, and there will be three (3) exams for which we provide
hints for studying. Students enrolling in Comparative Literature C355
will be required to complete one additional writing assignment–a
comparative essay of three to five (3--5) pages.

For more information, contact the instructors: Julia Bondanella
(Italian, 5-3554 or bondane@indiana.edu) and Bruce Cole (Art History,
5-9556 or coleb@indiana.edu).