Art History 361

Instructor: Steven Bunn

Office Hours: Mondays and Fridays, 2:30-3:30pm, and by appointment; location Art Building 367.

Course Overview

Art History 361 surveys the painting, sculpture, architecture, and graphic arts of the Italian Renaissance. Emphasis is given to the major artistic centers of Florence, Rome, and Venice, while other cities will often be highlighted. Themes include the status of the image in Renaissance art, the role of artistic invention, individual and collective creativity, the growing self-awareness of artists, the influence of political, historical, and social place, and the changing narratives and mythologies that have shaped our perception and understanding of the Renaissance.

Course Objectives

  • Become familiar with the main artists and the regional centers in which they thrived, and how artists and communities responded and to local and foreign visual innovations.
  • Recognize the stylistic variations between different eras of Renaissance art, personal styles of individual artists and their schools, and the trends occurring in different cities and regions.
  • Understand how art often reflects the goals of its makers and/or those who commission it.
  • Be able to read and interpret the language of Renaissance art, its symbols, narratives, and main subjects, and how and why they were used.
  • Become familiar with the power of images, and how they are used to express religious, political, and personal convictions, as well as the range of responses to the image.
  • Understand the role of artifice as a key feature of Renaissance art, and the different ways artists employ technical skill, workmanship, and the self-conscious act of creating to reinforce the meaning and function of art and its relationship to the viewer.

Course Structure and Requirements

This course meets three days a week in the Art Building, room 003 for lecture and discussion. Grades will be based on completion of frequent on-line assignments, two exams, and a 6-8 page research paper.

Grade breakdown
  • On-line questions: 25%
  • Paper and associated assignments: 25%
  • Midterm examination: 25%
  • Final examination: 25%


The required textbook for the class is Italian Renaissance Art by Stephen J. Campbell and Michael W. Cole (Thames & Hudson, 2012). The book is available at the UW bookstore and online.

Policies and Evaluation

Attendance in class lectures and keeping up with all assigned readings is expected for success in this class. If you miss a class for any reason, it is your responsibility to contact fellow classmates for notes. Please make every effort to be on time, as arriving late can be disruptive. If you must enter the room after lecture has begun or depart early, please do so quietly and do not let the door slam behind you.
  • All on-line assignments (questionnaires and those related to the final paper) will not be accepted after their closing day and time, and no late work will be accepted. No exceptions.
  • Make-up exams—either before or after the scheduled time—will not be given without legitimate documentation of severe illness, family emergency, etc. Extensions for the research paper and its related assignments will be granted only under similar circumstances. Vacations do not qualify as acceptable reasons for make-up work. Late papers without a verifiable excuse will lose 0.5 points per day (for example, a paper due Friday that would receive a 4.0 will receive a 2.5 if turned in on Monday). If you miss a scheduled exam, it is your responsibility to be in touch with the instructor as soon as you are able in order to schedule a make-up.
  • Grade Appeals : coursework and exams will be returned promptly. If you have any questions about a grade, please discuss the situation with the instructor within a week of receiving it.
General grade information
  • A 3.8–4.0 is given to a student who has exhibited the highest possible performance in all aspects of the course—the exams, final paper and related work, and answers to the weekly assignments are excellent. This student independently seeks out additional information about art history beyond the material presented and is highly committed/passionate about their work.
  • A 3.4–3.7 is given to a student who exhibits superior performance in all aspects of the course—the exams, final paper and related work, and participation are uniformly of high quality. This student has a thorough understanding of all concepts presented, and is motivated to improve and succeed.
  • A 2.9–3.3 is given to a student who has good performance in most aspects of the course. This student shows a good grasp of key ideas presented and consistent participation that reflects a clear understanding of almost all concepts being presented.
  • A 2.5–2.8 is given to a student who has fair performance in the course. The work is adequate and reflects the minimum needed to complete assignments. Participation and motivation are moderate.
  • A 0.0–2.4 is given to a student with poor performance in the course. Exams do not demonstrate an acceptable comprehension of the material and assignments are poorly presented, miss major themes and connections, or are incomplete. This student does not understand the majority of concepts presented and rarely participates in class.


There will be two exams, a midterm and a final. Bring a large blue or green exam book (available at the UW Bookstores and at other locations around campus).

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Plagiarism is defined as using in your own work the creations, ideas, words, inventions, or work of someone else without formally acknowledging them through the use of quotation marks, footnotes, bibliography, or other reference. Please check with your instructor if you have questions about what constitutes plagiarism.

Instances of plagiarism will be referred to the Vice Provost/Special Asst to the President for Student Relations and may lead to disciplinary action.

Equal Opportunity

The School of Art reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran in accordance with UW policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations.

Students with Disabilities

If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, (206) 543-8924 (V/TTY) or If you have a letter from Disabled Student Services indicating you have a disability that requires academic accommodation, please present the letter to me so we can discuss the accommodations you might need for the class. Please take care of this at the earliest possible time in the quarter so that the best accommodations can be made.

UW Safecampus

Preventing violence is everyone's responsibility. If you're concerned, tell someone.
  • Always call 911 if you or others may be in danger.
  • Call 206-685-SAFE (7233) to report non-urgent threats of violence and for referrals to UW counseling and/or safety resources. TTY or VP callers, please call through your preferred relay service.
  • Don't walk alone. Campus safety guards can walk with you on campus after dark. Call Husky NightWalk 206-685-WALK (9255).
  • Stay connected in an emergency with UW Alert. Register your mobile number to receive instant notification of campus emergencies via text and voice messaging. Sign up online at
  • For more information visit the SafeCampus website at **.