AH20240 The Age of Michelangelo: Mannerism in Italy 1520-1600

Academic Year 2020/2021

This is an evening lecture course currently scheduled for Mondays 6-8pm in autumn 2020. The course assesses the art of sixteenth-century central Italy and its culture of art theory. Its particular focus is on the impact of the mature work of Michelangelo on the development of Mannerism in Florence and Rome. Once maligned as a dissolute reaction against the values of the High Renaissance, Mannerism is now appreciated for its apparent modernity, intellectual intensity and precocious expressionism. In exploring shifting perceptions of Mannerism, the course will investigate the cultural principles of the period and how they were shaped by Michelangelo's influence. We will also address the factors involved in the establishment of art history as a scholarly discipline under the stewardship of Michelangelo's acolyte and follower, Giorgio Vasari. This module would be a good choice for those students who have completed the foundation module AH10120 The Art of the Renaissance.

In Autumn 2020 this module will consist of twice-weekly face-to-face lectures, which will also be available to experience online, with further supportive content online.

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, or engage with their online equivalents, work to set deadlines, submit original, non-plagiarised work, not over-rely on online resources - all in accordance with the standards generally 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.
- an appreciation of the development of Michelangelo's art and the Mannerist style in central Italy and elsewhere, and the work of key exponents of the style.
- an understanding of how Mannerism relates to the theoretical and aesthetic debates of the period and the intellectual, social and professional rise of the artist during the renaissance generally.
- an ability to articulate an appreciation of the particular technical characteristics of Mannerist art, and identify, date, and critically analyse the work of its leading practitioners across the fields of painting, sculpture and architecture.
- connoisseurial skills vital to a competency in the history of art, and with particular relevance to the artists covered on this module.

Indicative Module Content:

Lectures will chiefly concentrate on the impact of Michelangelo on central Italian art and art theory and the development of Mannerism as an artistic style in Florence and Rome. The course will also intermittently address Mannerism's pan-Italian character, with regard to other centres such as Mantua and Venice. In addition to supplying profiles of leading Mannerist artists, such as Michelangelo, Pontormo, Bronzino and Giulio Romano, the classes will exercise a strong interest in the aesthetic debates, critical culture, and socio-political upheavals of the period, including the Sack of Rome, the development of the Counter Reformation and the Medici domination of Florentine politics.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Field Trip/External Visits


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Due to ongoing Covid 19 restrictions, it is envisaged that the autumn 2020 version of this course will consist mostly of lectures delivered face-to-face in the evening where possible, but also accessible online. Wherever it is possible, practical and safe to do so, students will be encouraged to visit the National Gallery of Ireland to look at relevant works of art in person, and also visit UCD library to make use of recommended texts. It is essential that students develop their own informed ideas, and not over-rely on received opinions. Assessment will be via a written essay 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). Students are encouraged to develop their own ideas and not depend upon replicating received scholarly opinion. However, in forming their own informed critical responses they will be strongly encouraged to read widely and familiarise themselves with a range of recommended books and articles available in the library and elsewhere.

It is incumbent 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
Learning Recommendations:

Students should not take any Stage 2 or 3 Art History modules until they have completed their Stage 1 Art History requirements.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
AH30330 - Mannerism: Art & Theory

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Attendance: This participation pass/ fail grade will be decided on sufficient evidence of engagement with the module through face-to-face attendance/ online activity as subject to Covid 19 restrictions. Week 12 n/a Pass/Fail Grade Scale No


Class Test: The class test may take the form of an online/ take home test in accordance with current Covid 19 restrictions. Week 11 n/a Graded No


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


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 1 Hour
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?

You will receive written feedback on your essay and will have the opportunity to discuss this and your exam performance with the lecturer concerned.

A preliminary reading list for this module is available from Philip Cottrell on request - email philipcottrell@hotmail.com
Name Role
Ms Carla Briggs Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Conor Lucey Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Frances Coulter Tutor
Ms Rachel Healy Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Mon 18:00 - 18:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 Mon 19:00 - 19:50