Past Program

Italy: Renaissance Painting Techniques/Perugia to Venice

Late Medieval and, in particular, the painting of the Italian High Renaissance represents what might be considered the largest, most coherent, and instructive body of representational and narrative painting.

At-A-Glance

What
Wintersession Travel Course
Where
  • Venice, Italy
  • Perugia, Italy
  • Florence, Italy
When
Winter 2018

Course Dates: Jan 3, 2018 — Feb 4, 2018
Travel Dates: Jan 19, 2018 — Feb 4, 2018

Who
Open to RISD students, Brown University students
Faculty
Academic Credits
6
Department
  • Illustration
  • History of Art & Visual Culture
Course Numbers
  • ILLUS-1501
  • HAVC-1501
Cost
$3325

Includes airfare, accommodation, field trips, local transportation, group dinners + some meals, museum entrances, health and travel insurance.

Full Course Description - Renaissance Painting Techniques

Late Medieval and, in particular, the painting of the Italian High Renaissance represents what might be considered the largest, most coherent, and instructive body of representational and narrative painting. For Illustration students, and all those interested in representational painting and especially the human figure, this body of art is unmatched in its significance. Through the study of the techniques employed by the artists of that time, primarily pure egg yolk tempera, gilding, oil painting with the use of glazes (commonly known as the indirect method/Venetian method), students came to understand the history of the development of painting in the West, how certain effects of luminosity are created, and new ways of mixing color. Through the sequential study of techniques and intensive study of masterpieces in Italy, students were able to make new and exciting connections between technique and appearance. While these techniques are not in common in contemporary painting curricula, as time-honored methods within studio practice, they can vitalize students' processes.

The course commenced in Providence with three weeks of studio practice and then moved to Italy for 17 days of travel and study of art work there in tandem with Pascale Rihouet's HAVC-1511 course 'Perugia to Venice'.

Full Course Description - Perugia to Venice

This intensive course was taught directly in front of artworks in their original settings or in the museums of Perugia, Assisi, Arezzo, Florence, Siena, Venice and Padua during a 17-day trip. It worked in tandem with Prof. Gann’s “Techniques of Renaissance Painting.” With Prof. Rihouet, students studied the historical and social contexts in which new ways of depicting the world emerged, first with Giotto (ca. 1300) and then with the “renaissance” from 1420s to the sixteenth century. Students learned to decipher iconography, distinguish conventions from innovations, understand why and for whom works were made, and how they fit their purposes and intended space. Students looked with a critical eye at the agency of the artist, issues of gender and group identity, patronage, private and public devotion, and global exchanges. Prior to the trip, participants read and wrote a response journal in preparation for the stay in Italy. Once in situ, each student briefly presented specific works. The travel course included submitting short essays that reacted to the readings, reflected on visual analysis and personal viewed experience as well as a final research topic.

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