Art H 378, Popes and Caesars:
2000 Years of Art History in Rome

Instructor: Dr. John Cunnally

Description and Syllabus

Welcome to Popes and Caesars, a survey course on Italian art and architecture from the Etruscans to Bernini, with emphasis on the art treasures and monuments of Rome. The course is taught at the ISU College of Design's Rome campus (Palazzo Cenci), June 4-29 2007. We will spend as little time in the classroom as possible and instead make use of the museums, churches, archaeological sites and monuments of Rome for our visual aids.

Class time is normally scheduled for 8 AM to 12 noon, Monday and Wednesday, 9 AM to 12 noon on Wednesday. The first hour is devoted to lecture and discussion at the Cenci Studio and the remaining time occupied by a field trip to a local museum, historical site, or building. Exceptions are three dates devoted to all-day trips, namely to the excavations of Pompeii (June 15), to the Vatican and St. Peter's (June 20), and to Florence (June 22). Because of unforeseen developments, including restoration projects, unexpected changes of opening hours, and strikes of museum personnel or transportation workers, some field trips may have to be postponed or switched to different dates.

Assignments include four take-home exams (see below for deadlines), and a journal describing museums, churches, monuments, historic sites and other significant educational and intellectual experiences which take place outside of the regular class activity. Once a week the student will show the journal to the instructor for feedback or critique, and turn it in for evaluation at the end of the term. Further instructions regarding the format and contents of the journal will be provided during the first day of class on June 4.

In addition to the regular classroom field trips and lectures there are optional guided trips to other important sites and collections. Although attendance is not required for these, and the information given will be not be included on the exams, students may find them useful for their own enjoyment and for keeping up their journals.

When determining the final grade, I will follow this formula: exams (30%), journal (30%), attendance and class participation (40%). Since the essence of Popes and Caesars is the experience of the city of Rome and its treasures, attendance at all of the regular lectures and field trips is literally essential.

Tentative schedule as of April 2007 (a final schedule will be distributed in class June 4):

Monday June 4: Topography and Ethos of Rome.
Topics: Early development of the community; the river, the hills, roads and highways, walls, the major neighborhoods; the dominant traits and perennial character of Roman civilization.
Field trip: The Pantheon, St. Ignazio, Trevi Fountain.

Wednesday June 6: The Etruscans.
Topics: Etruscan culture and religion, burial customs and divination; the motifs and customs inherited by the Romans from this early civilization.
Field trip: The Villa Giulia and its Museum.

Friday June 8: The Roman Republic.
Topics: The Roman Senate, consuls, and other republican institutions; essential character traits and moral values of the Roman people.
Field trip: The Capitoline Hill and Forum Romanum.
Exam: First take-home test distributed; due Monday June 11.

Optional field trips offered during week of June 4-10: Capitoline Museum, Baths of Caracalla, Ostia Antica.

Monday June 11: The Roman Empire.
Topics: The ideology of Empire and growth of the Principate from Augustus to Hadrian; Roman building methods and use of architecture as political propaganda.
Field Trip: The Palatine, Colosseum, Forum of Trajan.
Journal: Meetings to discuss and critique first week's journal scheduled June 11-12.

Wednesday June 13: Early Christianity and the Middle Ages.
Topics: The late Empire and its political, religious, and ethnic tensions; the rise of the Christian church and its organization; the evolution of a new dematerialized style.
Field trip: The catacombs of St. Callixtus.

Friday June 15: Daily Life in Ancient Rome.
Topics: the Roman domus (house) and its decoration; urban government, commerce, and entertainment during the Empire.
Field trip: The Archaeological Museum at Naples and the excavations of Pompeii (all day).
Exam: Second take-home exam distributed, due Monday June 18.

Optional field trips offered during week of June 11-17: Museo nazionale at Palazzo Massimi; Villa of Hadrian at Tivoli.

Monday June 18: The Middle Ages.
Topics: The origins and development of the papacy; the cult of the saints and the Virgin Mary; medieval symbolism; influence of Byzantine art and culture.
Field trip: San Clemente and Its Excavations.
Journal: Meetings to discuss and critique second week's journal scheduled June 18-19.

Wednesday June 20: The Papacy and its Treasures.
Topics: The history and construction of St. Peter's and the Vatican Palace, featuring Pope Julius II, Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo.
Field trip: St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican Museum (all day).

Friday June 22: Firenze and its Treasures.
Topics: The rise of the bourgeoisie and the communes in Italy; the history of Florence from antiquity to the Renaissance; the Medici and its patronage; humanism, classicism, and naturalism in the art of Giotto, Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo and Michelangelo.
Field trip: Florence, with reservations at the Uffizi and the Accademia galleries (all day).
Exam: Third take-home exam distributed; due Monday June 25.

Optional field trips offered during week of June 18-24: Santa Costanza; EUR and Museum of Roman Civilization.

Monday June 25: The High Renaissance in Rome.
Topics: The Renaissance papacy and its patronage; Raphael, Bramante and the High Renaissance style.
Field trip: The Villa Farnesina and the Tempietto.
Journal: Meetings to discuss and critique third week's journal scheduled June 25-26.

Wednesday June 27: The Age of the Baroque: Caravaggio and Bernini.
Topics: The Council of Trent and the Counter-Reformation; the new emotionalism and mysticism of Baroque art.
Field trip: Caravaggio's Contarelli Chapel, Bernini's Cornaro Chapel, Borromini's San Carlino.

Friday June 29: Treasures of the Borghese Gallery.
Topics: The age of Galileo and the new science; the ideals of expansion and personal expression in sixteenth century art and culture, with emphasis on Caravaggio and Bernini; the coming of Neoclassicism and Napoleon.
Field trip: The Villa Borghese and its gallery.
Exam: Fourth take-home exam distributed; due Monday July 2 (other arrangements will be made for students in transit or leaving Italy during this time).
Journal: Final draft of journal due no later than Monday July 2.

Optional field trips offered during week of June 25-30: The Doria-Pamphili Gallery; the Palazzo Barberini and its galleries.

Printer-friendly (text only) version of this syllabus.

Syllabus for Art H 498, The Art History of the Book.

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