French And Italian | Renaissance Florence
M234 | 2336 | Bondanella


(This course is listed jointly by Italian and Art History: it is
team taught by Julia Bondanella [Italian] and Bruce Cole [Art
History].  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 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 sometimes 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 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 this
century; why Michaelangelo wore dogskin boots; why Machiavelli
does not deserve the reputation of a "Machiavellian"; 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.  For more
information, contact the instructors: Julia Bondanella (Italian,
5-3554) and Bruce Cole (Art History, 5-9556).