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Online Summerschool

Period: 05 July 2021 – 16 July 2021 (2 weeks)

The names of Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Caravaggio are associated with some of the most original, appealing and amazing achievements in the visual arts. Each year the works of these famous Italian artists attract millions of visitors to museums and cities in Italy. What drove these versatile artists to reach the pinnacle of perfection and what is it that makes their works so special and appealing even to a modern audience?

To answer these questions this course will take the student back to the period of the Italian Renaissance focusing attention not only on the original context for which the works of art by these masters were made but also on the works of art by their peers with whom they often competed. Both the relationship between patron and artist, as well as the special characteristics of the individual artworks (technique, style, visual and literary sources) and the artist’s or architect’s working methods will be analyzed against the background of the then current views on the visual arts and the guiding principles of the Italian Renaissance as a cultural movement.


Aim of the course

The aim of this course is to introduce the student to the art and architecture of the greatest masters of the Italian Renaissance in its historical context, and in doing so, to make him or her familiar with the origins, nature, and development of the visual arts in Renaissance Italy. Mastery of basic concepts and terminology of art historical studies is another essential aspect of this course.

Study load

Power-point lectures and virtual site visits (in live streaming). Reading, class participation, and written work are all required of students. Grades will be composed of evaluations based on an assignment and a presentation. The assignment consists of a research paper (c. 3000 words with illustrations). Students receive a list of topics with formatting outlines and criteria well before the beginning of the course.


Teaching staff: Prof. dr. Michael Kwakkelstein, dr. Gert Jan van der Sman, and others

Organised in cooperation with Summerschool Utrecht.

ECTS: 4 credits

Application deadline: 27 June 2021


For further information, fees and registration see