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Florence 1450


Admission requirements

BA Art History


Painting, sculpture and decorative arts are usually studied as separate fields. In this course we will look at the relations between the different art forms in Tuscany in the period from 1440-1470, focusing on various chapels in Tuscan churches and taking the Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal in the San Miniato al Monte in Florence as our point of departure. Various Florentine artists have been involved with the decoration of this chapel and during this course we will study what light these activities throw on other works of art they produced halfway the fifteenth century. Many of these artists are not very famous nowadays, although they have been considered major artists in the past. In focusing on their work in the Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal and elsewhere we will address questions regarding status, style, iconography, patronage, technique and function.

Course objectives

  • Gaining an understanding of the various functions of (religious) art in fifteenth-century Italy;

  • Gaining an understanding of the appreciation of different art forms in fifteenth-century Italy in terms of cost, intellect and beauty;

  • Becoming familiar with production methods of various techniques used by artists in fifteenth-century Tuscany;

  • Obtaining basic experience with working with museum objects;

  • Critical reflection of the relevant literature;

  • Working on a case study within the theme of the course and presenting the research results in both oral and written form;

  • (ResMa) Reflecting on the theoretical foundation of the discipline and the different approaches in academia and museums.


The timetable is available on the Master Arts and Culture website

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

  • Seminar

  • Research

  • Excursion

Course Load

Course load in summary: 10 ects (280 hrs)

28 hrs: Attending lectures (2 hrs weekly x 14 weeks)
28 hrs: Lecture preparations (reading texts)
16 hrs: Museum visits
16 hrs: Preparing bibliography and formulation of point of departure
50 hrs: Preparing oral presentation
142 hrs: Preparing paper(s) (Please note: Research Master students will have to write an extra paper)

Assessment method

  • Bibliography and formulation of the point of departure 10%

  • Oral presentation 20%

  • Paper 70%


  • Bibliography and formulation of point of departure (10%)

  • Oral presentation (20%)

  • Paper (70%)


The final results of the course are established by the weighted average of bibliography, oral presentation and paper.


The re-sit consists of two parts: paper (70%) and/or alternative assignment (30%).

Compensation: The final mark for the course is established by the weighted average of bibliography, oral presentation and paper. In case the bibliography and paper fail (grade lower than 6.0) they can be redone once.

Re-sit: Re-sit for the oral presentation will be a separate assignment, to be determined by the Board of Examiners.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used throughout the course for announcements, literature and assignments.

Reading list

Yet to be determined.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory. You can register until two weeks after classes have started however students are advised to register as soon as possible and preferably before the start of the course. In the case of electives: please be aware that most electives have a maximum amount of students who can enroll. Do not approach the course instructor in case the class is full. You will automatically be put on a waiting list.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


Dhr. dr. E. Grasman