The Survival of Antiquity in the Italian Renaissance

(July) The process of activation of Greco-Roman art has played a substantial role in the aesthetic ideas and inspiration of Renaissance artists. The seminar explores the concept of the Renaissance, defined by Erwin Panofsky as the great revival of arts and letters under the influence of classical models, which began in Italy in the fourteenth century and continued during the fifteenth and sixteenth. The idea of revival, or of survival (Nachleben der Antike), as Aby Warburg convincingly suggested, will be discussed and the ways in which European culture invents itself by developing a high level of awareness of the Antique will also be analyzed. The course is conceived as a series of selected case-studies, demonstrating how great masters of the Renaissance -such as Pisanello, Mantegna, Alberti, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian- copied, quoted, emulated, modified, assimilated, even paraphrased ancient inventions. These models of ideal beauty, because of their characteristic tenacity and flexibility, were confidently adapted to suit the needs of diverse compositions. 
Prerequisite: at least one course in art history.

Ianthi Assimakopoulou
Course Code: 
ARTH 102