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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Creative Arts

Undergraduate Course: The Age of Giotto (LLLA07270)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course examines the role played by Giotto and his contemporaries in the innovations of late medieval Italy: a time of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, the Black Death, not to mention climate change, and a time which witnessed a period of artistic revolution.
Course description Academic description
This course will examine the artistic and cultural developments of late medieval Italy, focusing on the work of Giotto and contemporaries such as Duccio and Simone Martini. Classes will focus on close analysis of art from this period which saw significant changes in technique, style and subject matter. Throughout the course, students will consider changes such as the depiction of contemporary settings rather than traditional, schematic backgrounds, and the transition from rigid depictions of people to characters infused with emotion and interaction. These developments in art will be placed in the religious, political and cultural context of the time, looking in particular at the catalysts for change such as the Mendicant Orders' artistic and architectural patronage.

Outline content
This course will cover the following areas:
- Nicola and Giovanni Pisano: ancient and modern
- Cimabue: 'the renewal of painting'
- Giotto: 'a great light eclipses a smaller one'
- Giotto: 'sovereign master of painting'
- The Mendicant Orders: facilitators of innovation
- Duccio: innovation inspired by Greek and Byzantine tradition
- Simone Martini: urban realism
- The Lorenzetti brothers, Pietro and Ambrogio: anecdote and everyday life
- Taddeo Gaddi, Giotto's most gifted pupil
- Material Culture

Student learning experience
The course will be taught by informal lecture and discussion. Students will be guided in close analysis of paintings and other works of art, and will be introduced to key concepts in the study of Art History at this level. Students taking the course for credit will receive guidance on how to present their art history essay, and will be able to discuss their assessment with the course tutor, through a formative assessment essay plan which leads directly to the final essay.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  17
Course Start Lifelong Learning - Session 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1x 2,000-word essay submitted at the end of the course
Feedback Students can submit an optional formative assessment essay plan midway through the course. Tutor feedback is fed forward to writing the assessed essay. Students receive written feedback on their assessed work from their tutor, and can request further feedback from the tutor or course organiser.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an understanding of the key developments in late medieval Italian art
  2. analyse the cultural and political context of the work of Giotto and his contemporaries
  3. assess critically key works of art from Italy in the late medieval period
Reading List
A. Derbes and M. Sandona eds., 2004. The Cambridge Companion to Giotto. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Diana Norman ed., 1995. Siena, Florence and Padua: Arts, Society and Religion 1200-1400, 2 vols. New Haven: Yale University Press.

John White, 1994. Art and Architecture in Italy, 1250-1400. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Oral discussion
- Close source analysis
- Handling and assessing a range of evidence
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sally Crumplin
Course secretaryMs Kameliya Skerleva
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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