Art and Architecture of the Early Renaissance in Italy 1450-1500

Ref: C2226863

This course looks at the second half of the fifteenth century in Italy, a time when the revolutionary changes of the earlier part of the century were absorbed and developed. It is a period of powerful and knowledgeable patrons and the growth of scholarship. These aspects can be seen in the work of such artists as Botticelli and we will look at some of the issues associated with such famous paintings as the Birth of Venus. We will also consider his contemporaries and followers. By this time the new art had spread beyond Florence and its dependent territories. It is in this context we meet artists such as Pisanello, Pintoricchio and Mantegna. Just as painting was flourishing outside Florence so was the new architecture. In Venice painting was dominated by the Bellini family. Giovanni produced some of the most lyrical images of the age. Throughout the course we will consider some of the underlying issues and historical contexts.

Additional information about this course

Half term break on 28/10/2019

Course aim

This period includes some of the greatest artists of the early Renaissance in Florence and beyond – Botticelli and Giovanni Bellini – as well as some lesser known names. We will explore architecture and see the rise of Venice as an artistic power.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Connect the work of Botticelli and others with its historical contexts.
  • Identify the development of landscape painting in early Renaissance Italy.
  • Discuss the way that architecture drew on the immediate and more distant past.
  • Approach Renaissance Italian art with greater understanding and enjoyment wherever you encounter it.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

Art and Architecture of the Early Renaissance in Italy 1450-1500


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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