ITALIAN ART & THE BLACK DEATH
This course will explore the painting, sculpture, and architecture of Italy during the later Middle Ages (ca. 1250-1400), the nascent roots of the Italian Renaissance, and will ask students to consider the possible extent of the Black Death in creating or contributing to the visual culture of the Renaissance. The pestilence struck Italy a devastating blow in 1348, and recurred in 1362, 1368, and 1381, with Italian cities losing up to half or more of their populations. How did artists respond to this crisis, if they responded at all? This course will consider primary source documents, materials and techniques of making art, and the geographical, social, historical, religious, and literary contexts that contribute to the formation of the period we know as the Renaissance.