Monica Centanni (Università  Iuav di Venezia)
Maria Bergamo (Università  Iuav di Venezia)


From 11:00
to 12:30
From 11:00
to 12:30

Course Description
The course guides the students in the acquaintance of major topics and main characters of Venetian Renaissance, tracing the evolution and development of Venetian Art and Architecture from the late XV century to the beginning of the XVII century, focusing on a selection of issues, episodes, and artists.

Aims of the course:
– learning methodology in analyzing Renaissance works of art in their form, meaning and visual symbolism;
– connecting artworks to their historical background;
– understanding masters’ artistic views and poetics;
– improving the critical approach in order to enable students to read, talk, and write on Art and Art History.

A great emphasis will be given to the rediscovery, use and interpretation of Classical models of Roman and Greek tradition in all the fields of Renaissance culture, by examining the peculiar approach of Venetian culture to antiquity between Rome and Byzantium. A special attention will be paid to the historical context, both religious and politic in Serenissima Republic of Venice. A peculiar gaze is reserved to the system of art production, from the techniques of construction in the main architectural fabrica, to the role of artists and artisans in the “botteghe” of the most relevant Masters. Whole perspective to understand the manifold languages through which the Venetian Renaissance expressed itself in art and architecture.

Venice, which can only be visited on foot or by boat, with its outstanding monuments hidden among calli and campi, offers an extraordinary opportunity to examine masterpieces in their original setting.


Course information
The course doesn’t require any specific prerequisites.

The lectures are supported by slide show presentations combined with seminars (for which students are assigned weekly reading tasks), site visits and research challenges.
Students will be encouraged to take part in discussions on the topics proposed and in producing both individual and group research work.

40% attendance and participation to lessons and visits, participation in class discussions.
60% individual oral discussion, oral presentations in class or during on-site lessons, research paper.

General Readings
For an overview of Italian Renaissance | Geraldine Johnson. Renaissance art. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
For an overview of Venice Art and architecture | Giulia Foscari, Elements of Venice; foreword by Rem Koolhaas, Zurich: Lars Muller, 2014
On history of Venetian architecture | Deborah Howard, The architectural history of Venice, New Haven - London : Yale University Press, 2017
On history of Venetian painting o | Humfrey Peter: Painting in Renaissance Venice, New Haven: Yale University Press, c1995
A list of reading assignments and suggestions will be given for each lesson week by week.


Tuesday 28.2 Venice and Myth of the Origins
Thursday 2.3 From Gold to Blue: the Renaissance Revolution of art

Tuesday 7.3 On-site lesson: Visit to San Giovanni in Bragora: Vivarini and Cima
Tuesday 14.3 An underwater forest: Venetian construction techniques

Thursday 16.3 Venice&Antiquity. Looking for an identity between spolia and antiquary collection
Friday 17.3 On-site lesson | Building a new city: early modern architectures (Lombardo, Codussi)

Tuesday 21.3 Virtus e voluptas: Neoplatonic ideals in Renaissance art
Thursday 23.3 Titian from the Venus of Dresden to the Ariadne of the Andrians

Tuesday 28.3 Carpaccio, Bellini and the painted architecture
Thursday 30.3 Sculpting Venetian Renaissance: Dogi’s tombs and Churches’ facades
Friday 31.3 On site lesson | SS. Giovanni and Paolo Church and Scuola of San Marco

Tuesday 4.4 Sacred themes by images: from Bellini to Veronese
Friday 7.4 On-site lesson | visit to Gallerie dell’Accademia

Tuesday 18. Nobility and architecture: the Grand Canal Palaces
Thursday 20.4 On site lesson | Art, Architecture and collectors. Palazzo Grimani and the Grimani collection

Thursday 27.4 On-site lesson | San Marco Basilica

Tuesday 2.5 The architecture Treatises: Vitruvio, Fra’ Giocondo, Serlio, Palladio
Thursday 4.5 On-site lesson | San Marco Piazza: Sansovino, Longhena

Tuesday 9.5 Scuole grandi: art and architecture of Renaissance charity
Thursday 11.5 On site lession | visit to Scuola Grande di San Rocco

Tuesday 16.5 The Renaissance “bottega”: a complex system of art production
Thursday 18.5 The Death of Adonis by Sebastiano Del Piombo: a Reading

Tuesday 23.5 The magnificent Serenissima: Palazzo Ducale and the Venetian art officiel
Thursday 25.5 On-site lesson | Palladio’s promenade in Giudecca



Last updated: 20 March 2023


Isola di San Servolo
30133 Venice,

phone: +39 041 2719511
fax:+39 041 2719510

VAT: 02928970272