St Luke Painting the Virgin by Giorgio Vasari 1565
Workshop practices and art materials are often a neglected aspect of Renaissance studies. Yet the businesses run by painters operated within and contributed to the economic life that characterized Renaissance Italy. Before the period, artists were craftsmen valued for skill, not creativity or intellect. But with the rediscovery of classical art and new techniques such as the use of oil paint and perspective, increasing value was placed on artistic innovation and creativity.
Artists in the Renaissance had to know mathematics and geometry and studied anatomy, classical culture, theology, and philosophy. All these disciplines contributed to the idea that painting, sculpture, and architecture should be considered one of the “liberal arts,” rather than a menial trade.
Join Renaissance art historian Elaine Ruffolo and explore how painters learned their craft, the organization of their workshops and the guilds they belonged to, how their customers or patrons treated them, and where and how their work was displayed.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.