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ARTH 5340: Renaissance Venice; Secular, Sacred, & Spectacular
Spectacle, splendor, and sensuous appreciation constitute components of Venetian civic ideology, private & communal devotion, and pictorial style & content. Renaissance Venetians loved the good life but worried about moral limits and divine retribution for transcending them. The visual arts, legal system, and religious doctrine promoted concepts that defined the ideal family of Venice with Doge at its head as a model based upon the divine prototype in which the devout constitute family and Christ its head. Consequently, delight in sensuous pleasure, so easily justified in secular subjects, was distinctively modulated in application to sacred subjects during an age of religious reform, heterodox beliefs, and Counter Reformation.

Readings introduce major themes in Venetian art, methods & research strategies, and topics in recent & classic research. You will choose a related topic for investigation leading to a finished paper and share results with participants; smaller projects lead to this final goal. 

The seminar meets Tuesdays & Thursdays, 9:30-10:50, in Art B-01 with Dr. Brian Steele.  It can be applied toward a Certificate in Medieval & Renaissance Studies. 


Brian Steele


Visual and Perform Arts