PROFESSOR SHELLEY STONE     OFFICE: DDH C108 (Tel.665 - 6029)                                                                                                                                                 

OFFICE HOURS: MTWR 1-2, and by appointment.



  The modern modes of society in Europe and the Americas developed.from the civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Renaissance (means "rebirth") Italians sought to create a new society in which belief in Christianity was tempered by the revival of concepts borrowed from the pagan culture of Classical Antiquity. In art, the Italian Renaissance broke away from the abstract formalism characteristic of the Medieval styles of European art, and sought to imitate nature, spurred on by the example of Classical art. Beyond the imitation of nature Renaissance art and society generally sought balance, order and deep spiritual meaning. These are the qualities of Renaissance art which still move us today, since they are universal values.

   Renaissance Italy produced some of the greatest artists in world history: Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello are only a few of the names that still hold magic today. This course will examine the development of Italian art and architecture from ca. 1300 to ca. 1550, focusing on the major artists and architects in this period as well as art as an expression of Renaissance values.



   Grading for the course will be based on a three tests (each worth 15% of the final grade, or 60 points each), a book review (worth 10% of the final grade, or 40 points), a research paper (worth 30%, or 120 points), and attendance (worth 15%, or 50 points). There are 400 possible points, and I will divide your total by four to arrive at your final grade. The assignment of final grades will be on the following scale:

100-91.5=A                                                      77.5-79.4=C+

91.4-89.5=A-                                                    71-77.4=C

87.5-89.4=B+                                                   69.5-71=C-

81.5-87.4= B                                                    68.5-69.4=D+

79.5-81.4=B-                                                    61-68.4=D

I hope there won’t be any grades below this. I suppose that I would give a D- if you achieved a 59.5-60.9% in the course. Below 59.4 is failing.

   Missing a test will drop you over a letter grade, because the highest you can achieve in the course would be 85; failing to turn in the book review will drop you a letter grade. If you do not turn in the research paper you will fail the course, since the best grade you could achieve by getting every other point in the course is 70% or a C-. Failing to attend class can hurt your final grade a lot too.



   The format of the examinations will be as follows: 10 slide identifications (worth 40 points, or 4 points each), four short answers selected from seven possibilities (worth 20 points, or 5 points each). The slide identifications will be chosen from the illustrations in your text. The images that you need to know for each test are illustrated in image files attached to my home page at the CSUB web site (  You will need a password to get into these (for copyright reasons). This will provided in the second class meeting. Makeup examinations are not given unless the student can prove a hardship that prevented attendance on the scheduled day of the test.




Art 384                                                                               Page 2



   Each student will research an important topic in Renaissance art, either the career of an important artist or architect, or a thematic topic. This will result in a paper of approximately 10-12 pages in length. As part of the research, each student will write a 3-4 page book review of an important source for the research paper.  Both paper and book review must be given in electronic format to the instructor, whether as an e-mail attachment or on a CD or floppy disk. Papers, whether book review or research, turned in late will be docked one-third of a grade per day late (i.e. B to a B- to a C+ etc.) unless the student makes prior arrangements with the instructor. Students are requested to turn in a one-page prospectus to the instructor on July 26, indicating the topic of the student’s paper, and the book to be read for the book review (which means you should check that book out of the library or otherwise procure it by that date). The prospectus should be in printed format. Students who hand this in as requested on the scheduled date will receive five points of extra credit!!! If you are unable to attend class on the day scheduled to turn in the book review (August 4), or the paper (August 9),  papers may be sent as an attachment to an e-mail. In addition, the instructor has a mail box in Dorothy Donohue Hall (D101, Liberal Studies).

    Plagiarism, conscious or unconscious, on the papers will incur the penalties specified in the university catalog.

Academic Integity

This is defined on page 57 of the 2003-5 catalog. Here are some pertinent sections:

There are certain forms of conduct that violate the university’s policy of academic integrity. ACADEMIC DISHONESTY (CHEATING) is a broad category of actions that use fraud and deception to improve a grade or obtain course credit.  Academic dishonesty (cheating) is not limited to examination situations alone, but arises whenever students attempt to gain an unearned academic advantage.  PLAGIARISM is a specific form of academic dishonesty (cheating) which consists of the misuse of published or unpublished works of another by claiming them as one’s own.  Plagiarism may consist of handing in someone else’s work, copying or purchasing a composition, using ideas, paragraphs, sentences, phrases or words written by another, or using data and/or statistics compiled by another without giving appropriate citation.  Another example of academic dishonesty (cheating) is the SUBMISSION OF THE SAME, or essentially the same, PAPER or other assignment for credit in two different courses without receiving prior approval.


When a faculty member discovers a violation of the university’s policy of academic integrity, the faculty member is required to notify the university’s Coordinator of Student Discipline and Judicial Affairs of the alleged violation, including the name(s) of the student(s) suspected, the class in which the alleged violation occurred, the circumstances of the alleged violation, and the evidence (including witnesses) supporting the allegation.  The faculty member shall also formally notify the student(s) suspected of violating the university’s policy of academic integrity, the department chair, and the school dean.  The Coordinator for Student Discipline and Judicial Affairs shall conduct an investigation, confer with the faculty member, student(s), and any witnesses identified, and review all evidence submitted by the faculty member and student(s).  Normally, the Coordinator for Student Discipline and Judicial Affairs shall make a settlement agreement with the student for his/her first violation of academic integrity with the following sanctions:


      Art 384                                                                               Page 3


•     final course grade of “F”

•     one-year “academic probation” requiring a meeting with the Coordinator of Student Discipline and Judicial Affairs prior to registration for each subsequent academic term of the probationary year.


A second offense leads to suspension from the university for at least a year.



   As mentioned above, 15% of a student’s grade is based on attendance at scheduled classes. This does not count test dates; it is assumed that you will show up for the tests. Since there are three of these, there are 13 remaining class meetings during the quarter. I will allow each student to miss one of these classes unpenalized, leaving 12 classes. You will receive five (5) points for each of these classes you attend, or a total possible of 60 points. In other words, each time you miss a class after the one allowed, you lose a point off your final grade.

  At the beginning of class an attendance sheet will be passed out for each student in attendance to sign. This will be collected by the instructor. If you show up late, it is your responsibility to approach the instructor apologetically at the break, and ask to sign the daily roster.

   Please note that exceptions will be allowed in exceptional cases (i.e. severe illness, maneuvers, etc.). It is assumed that life’s occasional eccentricities (like “car trouble,” the flu) are covered by the three absences allowed.



   The required text for this course is L.S. Adams, Italian Renaissance Art (2001).  Students are strongly advised to purchase their own copies of these books, since they are responsible for the content (tested in various ways) and for the illustrations in the text (from which the slide identifications on the tests will be chosen).


Class Comportment

   It is assumed by the instructor that students who attend the scheduled classes are there to learn the material. This means that the student will remain attentive and quiet (unless called upon to speak)). The student should stay in his or her seat, unless under severe duress, until the daily break (at about the halfway point in the class) or the end of class. If you leave class, you should wait to return to your seat until the next break. If you must leave class early for an important appointment, you should leave at the break, or not come at all. Not disturbing the class is a common courtesy to your fellow students. Students who fail to meet these standards will incur the wrath of the instructor.

   Cell phones should turned off during class, or, if receiving a call is vital, set to vibrate. When receiving a phone call, a students must leave the classroom, and return at the next break.


   Please Note: if you plan to receive General Education credit for this course, you must achieve upper-division status before the quarter in which Art 384 is taken!






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Course Objectives


1. To learn how to analyze an artistic composition in terms of its "language" of visual symbolism, and to understand that, when this language is understood, one can interpret these symbols (or "motifs") in terms of universal human values and/or individual cultural needs. The basic analytic methods learned in this course can be applied to any work of art, because they can be used to "read" a work of art and sort its composition into meaningful categories. These skills should be exhibited in the slide identifications.


2. To understand the fundamental importance of visual imagery in a largely non-literate society, and how visual imagery may serve to instruct its audience as to cultural values and norms.  Throughout the period covered by Art 384, the visual arts were far more important for the instruction of cultural values than they are today. As a result of this cultural importance, its "language" was far more fixed than in our primarily aesthetic and /or metaphoric art of today. Students will become familiar with basic art terminology, such as form and content. The resulting knowledge should be demonstrated in the tests, and in the papers.


3. To understand changes in artistic styles, both in terms of continuing human development and as expressions of the artistic requirements of diverse cultures. Each student should learn the meaning and application of basic stylistic categories used in classifying art such as Realistic, Naturalistic, Abstract, and Expressionistic, as well as how each affects the content (meaning) of works of art. The resulting knowledge should be demonstrated in the tests, and in the papers.


4. To understand the major social and historical forces which conditioned the art of each period and/or culture studied. For example, the art of the Late Renaissance was imbued with a deep pessimism. This reflects the (disastrous) interference of northern Europe in Italian politics (notably the Sack of Rome of 1527), and beginnings and success of the Reformation. The resulting knowledge should be demonstrated in certain short answers on the tests, and in the papers.


5. To recognize masterpieces of art which exemplify the visual culture of the period covered by the course. This will allow the student to create a historical framework of artistic monuments with which to evaluate and classify works of art of the same cultures and periods that are encountered after he or she has completed the course. In addition, the student should learn the names of major artists (i.e. Raphael), architects (i.e. Brunelleschi), rulers (i.e. Pope Julius II), and cultural figures (i.e. Baldassare Castiglione) whose achievements effected the directions taken by the visual arts during their period. The resulting knowledge should be demonstrated in the tests..


6. To understand the interrelationship of the visual arts and other areas in the humanities. This is vital to the understanding of Italian Renaissance art, which illustrates contemporary societal values. The resulting knowledge should be apparent in your papers.

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July 18: Introduction to the course. The visual culture of the Italian Renaissance. Duecento (Dugento) Art and Society in central Italy. The artist in Renaissance society.

Reading, Adams 2-24.


July 19: Florence in the first half of the 14th century (the Trecento): the Protorenaissance and Giotto. The beginnings of Humanism. Siena in the first half of the 14th century: the Protorenaissance. The Black Death and Florence in the second half of the 15th century. Northern Italy during the 14th century.Materials and methods of Italian Renaissance painting. Short film on Italian Altarpieces: Italian Painting Before 1400 in the National Gallery (ND613 I82 1989).

Reading: Adams 25-56.


July 20: The Bronze Door competition of 1401. Brunelleschi and the beginning of Renaissance architecture. Orsanmichele and Early Renaissance sculpture.

Reading: Adams 58-82.


July 21: Painting in Florence to 1430: Masaccio.

Reading: Adams 83-103.


July 25: Florentine Painting 1430-1460: Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi. Review.

Reading: Adams 105-121.


July 26: Test 1 (one hour). Painting in Florence to 1460: Uccello, Veneziano and Castagno. Sculpture and architecture in Florence from 1430 to the 1460s. Paper Prospectus due.

Reading: Adams 122-160.


July 27: Art and architecture in Siena and Rimini to the 1460s. The Early Renaissance in Umbria, the Marches and Naples.

Reading: Adams 161-201.


July 28: Sculpture, Painting, and Architecture in Florence after 1450 to 1494.

Reading: Adams 202-245.


August 1: Early Renaissance art in Northern Italy.

Reading: Adams pp. 246-269.


August 2: Early Renaissance Art in Venice. Film. Art of the Western World 4: The Early Renaissance. N5300 .A78 1989. Review.

Reading: Adams pp. 270-289.


August 3: Test 2 (one hour). Leonardo and Bramante in Milan: the origins of the High Renaissance. The High Renaissance in Florence: Leonardo, early Michelangelo

Reading: Adams pp. 291-321.


August 4: Raphael in Florence. The High Renaissance and Pope Julius II. Bramante in Rome. Michelangelo and the Tomb of Julius. The Sistine Chapel’s ceiling. Book review due.

Reading: Adams pp. 321-343

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August 8: Raphael in Rome. Film: Art of the Western World 5: The High Renaissance

Reading: Adams pp. 344-355.


August 9: Venetian Renaissance painting and architecture in the 16th century. The Crisis of the Late Renaissance. The late work of Michelangelo. Paper due.

Reading: Adams 334, 355-391.


August 10: The Mannerist Crisis in Florence and Rome, 1518-1540. Correggio and Parmigianino. Giulio Romano in Mantua. Late Renaissance art and architecture after 1540: Ducal Florence and international Mannerism. The Counter-Reformation and visual images. Review.

Reading: Adams 392-399.





This short paper will consist of a critical book review of around three or four pages in length on an important source (not a picture book) for your research paper. The topic for your research paper, and the book to be reviewed, must be submitted by the instructor for approval on July 26. You should read your chosen book carefully, noting the author's arguments, and comparing them to what you find in your texts. You likely will want to do some supplementary reading to check further on these, and to compare them to other scholarly opinion. The review should be written in clear English, and must be in printed format. It is due on August 4. Reviews submitted after this date (unless cleared with the instructor) will be graded off one-third of a grade per day late.


The Book Review


A critical book review is an informed critique of a scholarly work. It should take something like the following form:


1. Bibliographical information about the work: author, title, place and date of publication. This is given as a heading.


2. A brief statement of the book's purpose or thesis (why it was written). This may be combined with an introduction to the material dealt with in the book.


3. A synopsis of the order in which the author presents his or her information.


4. Critical evaluation of the success or failure of the book in meeting its thesis. This may include any errors in the book you find (including typos), any features which made the book difficult to read, and mention of additional material that the author failed to include.


5. A final evaluation of the book as a success or failure, including what readership it is suitable for.




1) Giotto: d'Arcais, Giotto ; Eimerl, The World of Giotto , Maginnis, Painting in the Age of Giotto ; Smart, The Dawn of Italian Painting, 1250-1400 ; White, Art and Architecture in Italy, 1250-1400 3

Ghiberti: Finn The Florence Baptistry Doors ; Krautheimer, Ghiberti.

Masaccio: Spike, Masaccio ; Berti Masaccio

Donatello: Bennett and Wilkins, Donatello ; Poeschke, Donatello ; Pope-Hennessy, Donatello . Art of the World?

Fra Angelico: Pope-Hennesssy, Fra Angelico ; Hodo Fra Angelico in San Marco .

Fra Filippo Lippi: Holmes, Fra Filippo Lippi .

Piero della Francesca: Bertelli, Piero della Francesca ; Cole, Piero della Francesca ; Clark Piero della Francesca .

Castagno: Horster, Andrea del Castagno .

Veneziano: Wohl, The Paintings of Domenico Veneziano .

Mantegna: Lightbown, Mantegna ; Martineau, Andrea Mantegna .

Giovanni Bellini: Goffen, Giovanni Bellini ; Robertson, Giovanni Bellini ;



Review p. 2


Botticelli: Ettlinger, Botticelli ; Lightbown, Botticelli .

Ghirlandaio: Cadogan, Domenico Ghirlandaio .

Carpaccio: Brown, Narrative Painting in the Age of Carpaccio.; Sgarbi, Carpaccio .

Leonardo: Bramley, Leonardo, the Artist and the Man ; Gould, Leonardo ; Kemp, Leonardo da Vinci ; Letze and Buchsteiner,  Leonardo da Vinci ; Turner, Inventing Leonardo .

Raphael: Ettlinger, Raphael ; Jones and Penny, Raphael ; Pope-Hennessy, Raphael ; Oberhuber, Raphael, The Paintings .

Michelangelo, in general: Hibbard, Michelangelo ; Murray, Michelangelo ; de Tolnay, The Art and Thought of Michelangelo .

Michelangelo, painting: Mariani, Michelangleo the Painter ; Gilbert, Michelangelo On and Off the Sistine Chapel .

Michelangelo, sculpture: Baldini, The Sculpture of Michelangelo ; Hartt, Michelangelo: the Complete Sculpture ; Poeschke, Michelangelo and His World .

Giorgione: Anderson, Giorgione ; Pignatti, Giorgione .

Titian: Cole, Titian , Hope, Titian ; Rosand, Titian: His World and Legacy ; Various, Titian: Prince of Painters ; Williams, The World of Titian ; Rosand, Painting in 16th Century Venice (second ed.)  ;  Meilman, Titian and the Altarpiece in Renaissance Venice .

Correggio: Ekserdjian, Correggio .

Parmigianino: .Gould Parmigianino .

Pontormo: Nigro, Pontormo.

Bronzino: McCorquodale, Bronzino .


2) Brunelleschi: Saalman, Filippo Brunelleschi: the Buildings ; Battisti, Filippo Brunelleschi .

Alberti: Kelly, Leon Battista Alberti .

Bramante: Bruschi, Bramante .

Michelangelo: Ackerman, The Architecture of Michelangelo ; Argan and Contordi, Michelangelo the Architect .

Palladio: Ackerman, Palladio ; Boucher, Andrea Palladio ; Taverner, Palladio and Palladianism .


3) Mannerism: Hauser,Mannerism ; Shearman, Mannerism ; Hall, After Raphael .


4) Catholic Church and 16th century art: Goffen, Piety and Painting in Renaissance Venice ; Freedberg, Painting in Italy, 1500-1600 .


5) Renaissance theories of art: Blunt,  Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450-1600 ; Summers, The Judgement of Sense ; Jorzombek, On Leon Battista Alberti: his Literary and Aesthetic Theories ; Wohl, The Aesthetics of Italian Renaissance Art .


6) Italian Renaissance art in Renaissance society: Burke, Culture and Society in Renaissance Italy 2; Cole, Italian Art, 1250-1550: The Relation of Renaissance Art to Life and Society ;  Shearman, Only Connect: Art and the Spectator in the Italian Renaissance ; Wackernagel, The world of the Florentine Renaissance Artist ; Ames-Lewis, The Intellectual Life of the Early Renaissance Artist.





   Write a paper of at least ten (10) typed, double-spaced pages, following extensive research in the Library, on one of the following topics. If the suggested topics are unsatisfactory, students are free to develop a topic of their own choosing, but they must discuss its feasibility with the instructor to gain his approval before undertaking the topic. Papers will be graded on content, clarity and style. Citations may be done with any coherent system (APA or MLA are the most common), but the source of your information needs to be documented. Plagiarism, whether direct copying, or illegal paraphrase, will cause the paper to be failed. Unless otherwise cleared with the instructor, papers will marked down one third letter grade per day late. It is due August  9.


1) Discuss the artistic career of one of the following artists, with attention to his importance and influence on the development of Italian Renaissance style, and the ways in which his works represent Renaissance values:  Giotto, Ghiberti, Masaccio, Donatello, Fra Angelico, Piero della Francesca, Castagno, Veneziano, Mantegna, Giovanni Bellini, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio,  Carpaccio, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo (painting or sculpture, not both), Titian, Giorgione, Pontormo, Parmigianino, Correggio.


2) Discuss the career of one of the following architects, with attention to his importance and influence on the development of Renaissance style, and the ways in which his work represents Renaissance values: Brunelleschi, Alberti, Bramante, Michelangelo, Palladio.


3) Examine the Mannerist crisis of the 1520s and 1530s in painting or architecture in Florence and Rome. Attention should be paid to the origins of Mannerism, its nature and to the reasons for its emergence.


4) Discuss the changing attitudes of the Catholic Church towards Renaissance art in the 16th century. Particular attention should be paid to the differences between the High Renaissance and the Counter-Reformation.


5) Discuss the evolution of, nature of and the changes in Renaissance theories of art.


6) Discuss the role of and intent of Italian Renaissance art in Renaissance society.