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Art and Patronage in Papal Rome c. 1534-1590


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Tutor: Dorigen Caldwell
  • Assessment: a 3000-word essay (67%) and 48-hour take-home examination (33%)

Module description

This course will focus on the art of Rome in the period between the ‘High Renaissance’ and the ‘Baroque’. After a brief hiatus following the devastating Sack of Rome in 1527, a renewed emphasis on restoring the city to its former glory saw the extensive building of new palaces, villas and churches, alongside the ongoing project to complete the new St Peter’s, and the emergence of urban planning on a grand scale. We will look at the consolidation of the city of Rome as the seat of the Papacy, and at the implications for the arts of the Counter Reformation. At the same time, the city’s classical heritage continued to be of great significance, and we will look at the influence of that tradition on collecting, taste and iconography as well as on the re-shaping of Rome itself. We will examine both secular and religious patronage, and think about motivations, functions and meanings. The course will encompass painting, sculpture and architecture, and take into consideration literary as well as visual sources.