The Art & Architecture of the Tuscan Republics
Vasari stated that 'Tuscans have devoted to all the branches of art more labour and study than all the other peoples of Italy', and today, whilst we may smile at his bias, we also acknowledge the richness and variety of the region's artistic heritage.
In this wide ranging course we shall study that heritage, not only in the major centres of Pisa, and Lucca, and of course, Florence, but also the smaller cities which have long cherished their own individual artistic and architectural identities, such Prato, Pistoia, and Arezzo.
In the course of our travels we shall meet the great patrons who gave so generously to the beautifying of their cities, and the artists, Michelozzo and Rossellino, Della Francesca and Della Robbia, Donatello and Della Quercia, who so often worked in 'foreign' and difficult conditions to fulfil their dreams.
Term Starts: 3rd October
Week 1: Introduction to the course: the artistic heritage of Tuscany: Volterra and Etruscans
Week 2: The Maritime Republic of Pisa.
Week 3: The Republic of Lucca
Week 4: The development in sculpture: Donatello, and Jacopo della Quercia.
Week 5: The art of terracotta: Della Robbia.
Week 6: The art of perspective: Masaccio and Uccello
Week 7: The communes of Prato, Pistoia and the North-East.
Week 8: Arezzo and the genius of Piero della Francesca.
Week 9: The Medici as patrons of art
Week 10: Popes and patrons: Pienza
Keates, J. Tuscany
Meller and Der Haegan, Art and Architecture in Tuscany
Belozerskaya, M The Arts of Tuscany
Partridge, L. The Arts of Renaissance Florence
Ed. Norman, D. Art and society in Siena, Florence, and Padua Vols. I and II
Hollingsworth, M Patronage in Renaissance Italy 1400 to the early 16C.
If you are planning to purchase books, remember that courses with too few students enrolled will be cancelled. The Department accepts no responsibility for books bought in anticipation of a course.
If you have enrolled on a course starting in the autumn, you can become a borrowing member of the Rewley House library from 1st September. If you are enrolled on a course starting in other terms, you can become a borrowing member once the previous term has ended.
All weekly class students may become borrowing members of the Rewley House Continuing Education Library for the duration of their course. Prospective students whose courses have not yet started are welcome to use the Library for reference. More information can be found on the Library website.
There is a Guide for Weekly Class students which will give you further information.
Availability of titles on the reading list (below) can be checked on SOLO, the library catalogue.
Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework, but only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.
If you do not register when you enrol, you have up until the course start date to do so.
Course Fee: £173.00
Take this course for CATS points: £10.00
Dr Diana Matthews
Diana Matthews teaches regularly for Oxford University’s Continuing Education Department. Her doctoral thesis was on the architecture of Renaissance Rome, and she has lectured widely on many aspects of the Eternal city.
The course aims to achieve a deeper appreciation of the rich artistic heritage of the cities of Tuscany in the 15C through a study of its leading patrons, sculptors, painters and architects.
By the end of the course students should be able to:
1. appreciate the role played by the city states, large and small, in the patronage of art and architecture in Tuscany.
2. evaluate the career and significance of the major artists, sculptors and architects working in Tuscany in the early Renaissance.
3. understand the difficult political conditions in which patrons and artists worked in 14C and 15C Tuscany.
Informal illustrated lectures will be combined with class discussion and some group exercises.
By the end of the course students will be expected to:
1. recognize the major works of art in painting, sculpture and architecture in the leading cities of early Renaissance Tuscany.
2. evaluate the patronage of the city state and of individuals.
3. analyze the major developments in art and architecture in Tuscany in the early Renaissance.
Students will be encouraged to complete an assignment as part of this course, which will be a written piece on a major topic such as a patron, or artist to be agreed with the tutor in Week 5.
Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form.
To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee for each course you enrol on. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.
Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.
Level and demands
Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support