AH10120 The Art of the Renaissance: Reform and Rebirth

Academic Year 2020/2021

The module acts as an introduction to European Renaissance art c.1300-1600, with a particular focus on Italy. This immensely creative period witnessed the emergence of the first great personalities of Western art, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Titian, Albrecht Dürer, Hieronymus Bosch, and Pieter Bruegel. As well as profiling the careers of these and many other notable figures, this module will seek to place individual works of art in their wider historical and cultural context. We shall analyse how the Renaissance as a period of rebirth and reform founded upon a revivalist interest in the art and culture of the ancient world. No prior experience of art history is required although this module would work particularly well alongside AH10130 The Art of the Ancient and Medieval World. Together with the spring 2021 modules AH10140 Baroque to Romanticism and AH10150 The Modern World, these four modules combine to offer an overall survey of Western art in first year, from antiquity to the modern era.

In Autumn 2020 the Renaissance module will consist of twice-weekly face-to-face lectures, which will also be available online in an equivalent form. Please see the School's Teaching and Learning statement for 2020-1 for further details: https://www.ucd.ie/arthistory/newsandevents/schoolofarthistoryculturalpolicyteachinglearningresearchstatement2020-21

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, students should be able to demonstrate the following:
- an ability to regularly and punctually attend classes online or in person, work to set deadlines, submit original, non-plagiarised work in accordance with the standards expected at university.
- familiarity and understanding of a range of set texts and critical/ theoretical sources relevant to the course, and be able to work under test/ exam conditions without reliance on supplementary notes or other learning aids.
- the ability to identify and explain those factors involved in the rise in the social and intellectual status of the artist during the European Renaissance.
- recognition of the main stylistic developments in European Renaissance art and architecture.
- the ability to identify the works of key artists and their significance within the European Renaissance.
- how to relate these issues to the wider concept of the Renaissance as a period of revival and reform in Western culture.

Indicative Module Content:

Many of the notions governing our perception of the artist’s role in society stem from the Renaissance; as we explore changing patterns of artistic production, techniques and patronage, a dramatic story begins to unfold: the artist’s rise from the status of craftsman to that of an intellectual, capable of winning ever greater social, professional and intellectual esteem.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Small Group


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module begins in week 2 of the academic term and consists of two lectures, delivered face to face, although subject to evolving Covid 19 restrictions. These lectures will also be accessible either synchronously or in a pre-recorded form online. Further supplementary content will be available online as the course progresses. Students will also be encouraged to study relevant works of art in the National Gallery of Ireland and visit UCD library to make use of recommended texts in the Library where personal circumstances allow. It is essential that students develop their own informed ideas, and not over-rely on received opinions. Assessment will be via a written essay in November and slide test at the end of term (the latter may take the form of an online/ take-home test according to the current state of Covid 19 restrictions).

It is incumbent on any undergraduate student who fails this module to contact the lecturer concerned to announce their attention to resit, and to obtain details of resit assignments. Any resit/ repeat registration/ fee issues should be dealt with by the Arts programme office. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
AH10050 - European Art 1, AH10070 - Dublin: Its Museums, AH10250 - Antiquity to Renaissance

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Attendance: This pass/ fail participation grade will be decided on sufficient evidence of engagement with the module through face-to-face attendance/ and or online activity. Week 12 n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale No


Class Test: The class test may take the form of an online/ take home test at the end of the term in accordance with current Covid 19 restrictions. Week 12 n/a Graded No


Essay: The essay will be submitted mid-term. details tbc. Week 7 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students have the opportunity to discuss the written feedback on their essay and their performance in the slide test.

A provisional reading list is available on request from the module coordinator, Philip Cottrell - please email philipcottrell@hotmail.com.
Name Role
Assoc Professor John Loughman Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Conor Lucey Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Lynda Mulvin Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Frances Coulter Tutor
Ms Rachel Healy Tutor
Mrs Sarah Maguire Tutor
Mr Denis Mortell Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

Please note: this module is available to Stage 1 undergraduate students. Therefore, teaching in the Autumn trimester will commence from the week beginning 28 September 2020. 
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Thurs 12:00 - 12:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Tues 11:00 - 11:50