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Renaissance Art (15th Century in Italy)

Code: 100546 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500239 Art History OB 2 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Rafael Cornudella Carré

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


There is no prerequisite

Objectives and Contextualisation


The fundamental objective of the course is to provide the student with some basic keys to interpret the Italian art of the fifteenth century, his intellectual ambition, his connections with the new culture of humanism and its historical significance. It also aims to promote the intellectual autonomy of the student and particularly a critical attitude towards bibliographic sources. The understanding of the originality and the theoretical foundation of the Quattrocento experiences we understand that it is necessary to be able to later study other subjects related to the western artistic production of the XVIth, XVIIth and XVIIIth centuries.


  • Critically analysing from the acquired knowledge a work of art in its many facets: formal values, iconographic significance, artistic techniques and procedures, elaboration process and reception mechanisms.
  • Developing critical thinking and reasoning and communicating them effectively both in your own and other languages.
  • Interpreting a work of art in the context in which it was developed and relating it with other forms of cultural expression.
  • Recognising the evolution of the artistic imagery from the antiquity to the contemporary visual culture.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills in order to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Accurately defining and explaining an artistic object with the specific language of art criticism.
  2. Analysing ideas about an artistic phenomenon in a given cultural context.
  3. Analysing the creators of an artistic phenomenon in a specific cultural context.
  4. Analysing the recipients of an artistic phenomenon in a specific cultural context.
  5. Applying the iconographic knowledge to the reading of artistic imagery.
  6. Connecting an artistic imagery with other cultural phenomena within its period.
  7. Distinguishing the elaboration techniques and processes of an artistic object.
  8. Efficiently presenting knowledge in oral and written form.
  9. Encouraging creativity and fomenting innovative ideas.
  10. Examining an artistic imagery and distinguishing its formal, iconographic and symbolic values.
  11. Explaining the reception mechanisms of a work of art.
  12. Identifying the artistic imagery, placing it into its cultural context.
  13. Identifying the main and secondary ideas and expressing them with linguistic correctness.
  14. Reconstructing the artistic outlook of a particular cultural context.
  15. Working in teams, respecting the other's points of view and designing collaboration strategies.


1. Humanism and Renaissance. Petrarca and the origins of the Humanism. Florentine Humanism of the Early Fifteenth Century: Classicism and "Civic Humanism". The studia humanitatis : definition, themes and historical significance of the Humanism. Dissemination of the Humanism. The change of cultural climate in mid-century and the Neoplatonic trend.

2. F. Brunelleschi and the “invention” of the perspective. The architecture of Brunelleschi.  L. B. Alberti : the birth of art theory. Codification of the prespective and the rethorical model in De pictura. Theory of Beauty: concinnitas. De re aedificatoria. The architectural projects of Alberti

3.Sculpture of the Fifteenth Century. The contest of 1401. Ghiberti: the first doors of the Baptistery. The emergence of Nanni di Banco and Donatello. Works for the Duomo and for Orsanmichele. The new statuary: Donatello, Nanni di Banco, Ghiberti. The relief: rilievo stiacciato and perspective. Jacopo della Quarcia. The evolution of Ghiberti, the "Paradise" doors. The evolution of Donatello, from madurity to the last works.

4. Painting of the fifteenth century. Masaccio and Masolino. Fra Filippo Lippi, Fran Angelico, Paolo Uccello, Domenico Veneziano, Andrea del Castagno. Piero della Francesca. Mantegna Giovanni Bellini and the modern Venetian school. Antonello gives Messina. Florence at the end of the century: Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Verrochio, Ghirlandaio, Filippino Lippi, Botticelli. Perugino.


Classroom lessons:

Development of the program by the teacher.

Possible seminars around the topics and materials proposed by the teacher (depending on the number of students enrolled).



Methodological and bibliographical orientation.

Supervised activities.



Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Classroom lessons 40 1.6 3, 4, 2, 12, 5, 1, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 6, 15
Type: Supervised      
Tutorials 40 1.6 3, 4, 2, 12, 5, 1, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 6, 15
Type: Autonomous      
Delivery of an essay on a subject to be chosen 70 2.8 3, 4, 2, 12, 5, 1, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 6


Evidence 1. A written exam in which the student will have to prove both the knowledge of the subject proposed by the teacher and the ability to construct the arguments and to adequately express the contents. The test constitutes 50% of the final grade.

Evidence 2. Approach to the issue and tutoring of an individual essay. 10% of the final grade.

Evidence 3. Presentation of an individual essay in which the student will have to prove his / her ability to define a study object, a sufficient knowledge of the relative bibliography and the ability to pose questions and propose answers. As in the previous evidence, the ability to organize discourse and the quality of written expression will also be valued. Written work constitutes 40% of the final grade.


Evidence format:

You will have to pass both the exam and the individual essay (Evidence 1 and 2). In the case that one of these evidences has been failed, or both, the final qualification will be "Suspenso".

Details about the format of the evidence will be communicated at the beginning of the course well in advance.

The theme of the essay will always be chosen in accordance with the teacher's guidelines. Obligatoryly, the essay must incorporate the footnote system with references to bibliographic or documentary sources. The evidences of plagiarism can bring a suspense. Plagiarism is the appropriation of ideas outside without citing the source, especially if they are core ideas of work, and also the transcription of sentences without putting them in quotation marks and without indicating the source in the corresponding footnote.

Exams and papers written in Catalan or Spanish and also in other languages that the teacher can readwill be accepted.

At the time of each evaluation activity, the teacher will inform the students of the procedure and date of revision ofthe grades.

The student will receive the grade of Non-evaluable as long as they have not submitted more than 40% of the evaluation activities.

In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.



Re-evaluation is contemplated both for the essay and for the exam.



In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Delivery of an essay on a subject to be chosen 40% 0 0 3, 4, 2, 12, 5, 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 6, 8
Delivery of an essay on a subject to be chosen (tutorials) 10% 0 0 3, 4, 2, 12, 1, 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 6, 8
Exam 50% 0 0 3, 4, 2, 12, 5, 1, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 6, 15


Bibliografia orientativa

Barasch, Moshe, Teorías del arte. De Platón a Winckelmann, Madrid : Alianza, 1991

Baxandall, Michael, Giotto and the Orators. Humanist observers of painting in Italy and the discovery of pictorial composition, 1350-1450, Oxford University Press, 1971

Frommel, Christoph Luitpold, The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance, London, 2007

Garriga, Joaquim, “La intersegazione de Leon Battista Alberti (I)”, D’art, 20 (1994), p. 11-57

Gombrich, Ernst H., El legado de Apeles, Madrid : Alianza, 1982

Joannides, P., Masaccio and Masolino. A complete Catalogue, London : Phaidon, 1993

Klotz, H., Filippo Brunelleschi. The Early Works and the Medieval Tradition, London : Academy Editions, 1990

Krautheimer, R., Lorenzo Ghiberti, Princeton University Press, 1956

Kruft, H.-W., Historia de la teoría de la arquitectura. 1. Desde la Antigüedad hasta el siglo XVIII, Madrid : Alianza, 1990

Nauert (Jr), Charles G., Humanism and the Culture of Renaissance Europe, Cambridge University Press, 1995

Panofsky, Erwin, La perspectiva com a “forma simbòlica” i altres escrits de teoria de l’art, Barcelona : Edicions 62, 1987

Panofsky, Erwin, Renacimiento y renacimientos en el arte occidental, Madrid : Alianza, 1975

Rosenauer, A., Donatello, Milano : Electa, 1993

Tavernor, Robert, On Alberti and the Art of Building, Yale University Press, 1998

White, John,  The Birth and Rebirth of Pictorial Space, London : Faber & Faber, 1987

Wittkower, R., Los fundamentos de la arquitectura en la edad del Humanismo, Madrid : Alianza, 1995