Standing On The Shoulders of Genius

Just another guy with a blog.

Art History Courses

The Monday I came back from Poland I was scheduled to teach my first art history course.

I got the approval to teach while abroad and had not packed my laptop or any textbooks because when I left, I only knew of one person taking the class.

For two weeks there I tried to figure out what I would teach, armed only with an iPad with an Art Authority app and a small notebook. I had to design a 10-week, one hour per week course that would cover the entire Italian Renaissance from 1300 - 1600 BCE. After much planning here was the breakdown of topic per week:

1. Introduction/Gothic, Byzantine, & Sienese art

2. International Gothic & Proto Renaissance

3. Early Italian Renaissance in Florence

4. Leonardo da Vinci

5. Michelangelo

6. Raphael

7. Andrea Mantagna and the Bellini family

8. Art of the High Renaissance in Venice

9. Mannerism

10. Catch up Day

I thought I had a pretty solid lay out of things until my first day of teaching where we only got through Cimabue and only covered the ideas of Gothic and Byzantine art. We were still on schedule, however, until we got to the third week where we just wrapped up Sienese School. It didn’t get bad until I realized just how massive the Early Italian Renaissance was.

Here we are now, 8 weeks in and we are only about to start Botticelli.

However, this isn’t bad news as it has allowed me to develop a whole class just on the High Renaissance and Mannerism! And another just on the Venetian Renaissance. I am excited for this new opportunity, but hope I will be able to teach the course. It all depends on enrollment. 

Although there are bound to be revisions and changes, here’s the breakdown of the course that has become An Introduction to the Early Italian Renaissance:

1. Introduction/Gothic & Byzantine art; Artists: Bonaventura Berlinghieri, Cimabue

2. Proto Italian Renaissance; Artist: Giotto

3. Art of the 1300 Sienese School; Artists: Duccio, Simone Martini

4. International Gothic Style; Artist: Gentile da Fabriano

5. Foundations of the Early Italian Renaissance; Artists: Masaccio, Masolino

6. Sculpture of the Early Italian Renaissance; Artists: Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Nanni di Banco, Verrocchio

7. Art of the Mid-15th Century I; Artists: Piero della Francesca, Fra Angelico

8. Art of the Mid-15th Century II; Artists: Fra Filippo Lippi, Botticelli

9. Art of the Late-15th Century I; Artists: Botticelli, Verrocchio

10. Art of the Late-15th Century II; Artists: Ghirlandaio, Perugino

Of course, things haven’t panned out in the last few weeks so it’ll probably change again. Last week half of my class was missing and two people that weren’t at the class prior were at that class so I did a review of Sculpture before going into Fra Angelico. Due to this review Fra Filippo Lippi got pushed back to this past week making it awkward because I would have liked to talk about Angelico and Lippi in the same week. Then this week we begun with Lippi and finished Piero della Francesca. And since half the class missed out on Angelico it was harder to talk about Lippi as I would have liked them all to be aware of Angelico to understand the importance of Lippi.

This still gives me two weeks so I am hoping Botticelli will take care of week 9 and week 10 I will be able to squeeze in all of Verrocchio, Ghirlandaio, and Perugino. If I can finish all 4 artists in the next two weeks than I can start the first class of the High Italian Renaissance with Leonardo da Vinci. However, we will see.

I am hoping to also squeeze in two teases for classes I am developing, one being the course on the High Italian Renaissance and the other covering the Northern Italian Renaissance and Baroque Periods. I think I may start with teasers for both and then go into Botticelli. This will probably push Botticelli back into week 10, but on well. I got to sell these two courses.

Serious Case of Role Reversal

On my way home today I saw a cop pulled over by a little old lady. Legit, the cop was on the side of the road with his lights flashing. Parked behind him was this old SUV. Upon passing the scene I noted that the old lady was standing outside the police car, talking to the cop through his window.

Not sure if grandmas have replaced cops as the protectors of the highway or if this was the guy’s mom.