University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Postgraduate Course: Art and Sexuality in Renaissance Italy (HIAR11034)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will examine painted and sculpted nudes and other erotic imagery in the context of new research on gender and sexual culture in renaissance Italy. We will consider why paintings with erotic subject matter became such an important focus for renaissance artists such as Botticelli and Titian, and investigate how this relates to wider social changes during this period.
Course description Classes will consider the visual arts in the context of marriage ritual, contemporary notions of female sexuality, the ubiquity of male homosexual practice, the birth of courtesan culture and pornography as well as the effects of the revival of classical culture and the relationship between the policing of sexuality and church reform. We will make extensive use of the collection of sixteenth century Venetian painting in the National Gallery of Scotland.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  15
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 4000 word essay
Feedback All students are given the opportunity to submit a formative assessment, normally a short essay and/or a plan for their assessed coursework mid-way through the semester. You will be given written and verbal feedback on this in short individual meetings with the course organiser within 10 days of the hand-in date.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. This course will give you a detailed knowledge of Italian renaissance art and history, particularly that of Venice, Florence and Rome c. 1480-1550.
  2. You will gain experience of interdisciplinary study and research - covering disciplines such as art and literary history, social history and the history of the body.
  3. The course will enable you to engage critically with the often contradictory and unstable meanings attached to representations of the body, and a greater understanding of how these representations operated within their broader culture.
  4. You will gain experience of various methodological approaches towards the study of images, including feminism, gender/sexuality, identity, and the social history of art.
  5. You will develop your skills in visual and textual analysis and historical thinking through the use of renaissance texts and images, which will form a crucial element of seminar teaching.
Reading List
Burke, Jill. The Italian Renaissance Nude. London: Yale University Press, 2018.
Lochrie, Karma. Heterosyncrasies: Female Sexuality when Normal Wasn't (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005
Mills, Robert. Suspended Animation: Pain, Pleasure and Punishment in Medieval Culture, London, 2005, pp. 177-200.
Ruggiero, Guido ed., A Companion to the Worlds of the Renaissance. London: Blackwell, 2006.
Simons, Patricia, The Sex of Men in Premodern Europe: A Cultural History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011): 125-157.
Turner, James Grantham. Eros Visible: Art Sexuality and Antiquity in Renaissance Italy, London: Yale University Press, 2017.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis, independent research, presentation and communication skills, organisation and planning, creative thinking
Course organiserDr Jill Burke
Tel: (0131 650 4112
Course secretaryMiss Emma Binks
Tel: (0131 6)51 5735
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information