Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

FNAR 345 Italian High Renaissance & Mannerist Art

Spring 2016

Fine Arts 345 - Italian High Renaissance & Mannerist Art

Spring Semester 2016

John Nicholson, PH.D.

Meetings: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:20 – 3:35 pm


Course Description

The purpose of the course is to study Italian painting, sculpture, and architecture from the late fifteenth through the sixteenth centuries--the period of the High Renaissance and Mannerism. The course begins with the origins of High Renaissance style in the art of Leonardo da Vinci and in the early works of Michelangelo and Raphael. The next section examines the High Renaissance in Rome with emphasis on the monumental projects sponsored by Pope Julius II: Bramante’s plans for the new St. Peter-s in the Vatican, Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and Raphael’s decoration of the Pope’s private apartment. This is followed by an examination of the Mannerist style in the works of Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino, Parmigianino and others. In the final part of the course the focus shifts to the High Renaissance in northern Italy: the works of Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto and other masters of the Venetian school and the architecture of Andrea Palladio in Venice and on the mainland.

This study will be implemented through slide lectures and classroom discussion Students will be advised and encouraged to visit churches, museums and galleries in Italy and other European countries.


The primary objective of the course is to instill a knowledge and understanding of an important period in the history of Italian art. This entails an examination of the historical context in which artists created their works, the subjects and content (iconography) of these works, and the stylistic features of the period and of individual artists. This is intended to show students the importance of political, social, and religious factors in artistic creation and to introduce them to the interpretation of subjects, symbols, and meanings conveyed by art in this specific period. In a wider context, this will help students understand an aspect of the very rich Italian contribution to European and world culture.

     Another, not less important, objective is to enhance appreciation and enjoyment of the visual environment. Any study of the world of art, past or present, should lead to the broader awareness of the role that human creativity in the arts has in focusing and organizing our perception of the world around us and thereby enriching individual and social life.


Frederick Hartt & David C. Wilkins. History of Italian Renaissance Art.5th ed. Prentice-Hall.

Linda Murray. The High Renaissance and Mannerism. Thames & Hudson.

Photocopied Material.





Course Requirements


There will be three examinations on dates to be assigned.


-         Changes in exam dates are not open to negotiation. Absence from an exam without a valid excuse will result in an F (0 points) for the exam.

-         Make-up examinations require a valid excuse. Make-up exams will not be given for travel-related absences.

-         Cheating or dishonesty of any kind on an exam will be penalized with an F grade.

Participation and Attendance

Because the viewing and discussion of slides is an essential part of the course, regular attendance at class is expected. Fifteen points have been assigned for participation and attendance. Note. Those absent from more than four meetings will forfeit the twenty points assigned for participation


Course Grade

First exam, 20%. Second exam. 30 %. Final exam, 30%. Class participation, 20%.

Grading Scale

93-100 = A.  89-92 = A- 86-88 = B+.  81-85 = B.  78-80 = B-.

75- 77 = C+.  71-74 = C.  68 -70 = C-.  63-67 = D+.  59-62 = D.

58 and below = F.

Office Hours (Bookstore)

Monday, 1:30-3:00 pm. Tuesday, 3:45-4:30 pm. Wednesday, 1:30-3:00 pm. And by appointment.

E-mail: jnich1@luc.edu.


Lectures and Reading

It is essential to do the assigned reading and study the works illustrated prior to each class meeting.


1. Introduction

-    The Renaissance in Italian Art: origins and meaning.

-    Early Renaissance, High Renaissance, Mannerism.


2. Beginnings: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael.

-         Murray, 4 - 33.

-         Hartt & Wilkins, 445 - 483.


3. The High Renaissance in Rome.

-     Murray, 35 - 70. (General survey)

-     Hartt & Wilkins.

- The role of Julius II. 493 – 95

- Bramante and the new St. Peter’s. 495 – 503.

- Michelangelo and the Julius II Tomb. 503 - 04. 518 – 21. 558 – 63.

- The Sistine Ceiling. 504 – 18.

- Raphael in Rome. 521 – 39.


4. Michelangelo in Florence and Rome

Florence.  San Lorenzo façade. Laurentian Library. Medici Chapel

-    Murray, 99 - 107.

-    Hartt & Wilkins, 550 - 560. 657 – 667.

Rome  Last Judgment. St. Peter’s in the Vatican. Campidoglio

-         Murray, 109 – 23.

-         Hartt & Wilkins. 656 – 67.


5. High Renaissance and Mannerism

            -    The Mannerist Style. Murray, 124 - 26.

-     Painting in Florence. Murray, 144 - 66.   Hartt & Wilkins, 594 - 604.

-     Painting in Parma. Murray, 171 - 78. Hartt & Wilkins, 580 - 589.

-     Mannerist Sculpture. Photocopied material.

6. The Venetian High Renaissance

            -     Antonello da Messina and Giovanni Bellini. Hartt & Wilkins, 412-24.

            -      Giorgione and Titian. Hartt & Wilkins. 599-620.

            -      Tintoretto and Vernonese. Hartt & Wilkins, 630-45.

            -      Palladio. Hartt & Wilkins, 649-54.