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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: The Renaissance Body (HIAR10053)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryBefore the fifteenth century, representations of naked bodies were largely confined to scenes of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, or the lost souls of the damned in hell. By the mid sixteenth century, painted and sculpted nudes populated princely palaces, middle-class homes and even churches and chapels. This interdisciplinary course will investigate the reasons behind this phenomenon. What did it mean to be naked in the Renaissance? How was the artistic development of the nude linked to changing attitudes towards anatomy, gender and the body?
Over the last twenty years, the history of sexuality and the body has been one of the biggest growth areas in renaissance studies and the humanities as a whole. This is a field full of new discoveries and sometimes startling observations for example, in the latter part of the fifteenth century, more than half of the Florentine male population (around 70,000 men) were indicted for engaging in homosexual relations; the term 'courtesan' was coined to describe unmarried ladies who attended parties at the papal court; and the beginnings of printed pornography can be traced back to the Raphael workshop.
Starting with attitudes towards the body and spirituality in fourteenth century Italy, this interdisciplinary course will consider the development of the nude in both Italy and Northern Europe. We will consider the work of artists such as Giotto, Donatello, Jan van Eyck, Botticelli, Durer, Michelangelo and Titian as contributing to and reflecting broader cultural changes - religious reform, gender relations, notions of individuality and developments in medicine and anatomy.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2 (HIAR08012) OR Architectural History 2a: Order & the City (ARHI08006) AND Architectural History 2b: Culture & the City (ARHI08007)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 50%; Practical exam: 0%; Written Exam: 50%

1 x 24 hour online examination paper (50%) and 1 extended essay of 2,500 words(50%)
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. All students are also offered a revision class where they will be given practice in tackling past exam papers.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)24 hour online examination paper0:05
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. You will gain experience of interdisciplinary study and research in disciplines such as art and literary history, social history and the history of science.
  2. You will gain experience of interdisciplinary study and research in disciplines such as art and literary history, social history and the history of science.
  3. You will engage critically with the often contradictory and unstable meanings attached to representations of the body, and develop a greater understanding of how these representations operated within their broader culture.
  4. You will engage critically with methodological approaches towards the study of the body 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 and early modern texts and images, which will form a crucial element of seminar teaching.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Jill Burke
Tel: (0131 650 4112
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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