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COURSE NAME: "Baroque Rome and Its Monuments (Rome City Series)"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2017

INSTRUCTOR: Laura Foster
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: T 9:15-12:00 PM
PREREQUISITES: On-site; activity fee: €25 or $33

Rome City Series - Rome is the city where the baroque style originated and flourished, and this on-site course focuses on some of the most significant works of art, architecture, and urban planning of the 17th-18th centuries. The course will discuss the works of artists and architects like Caravaggio, Artemisia Gentileschi, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Francesco Borromini, and Pietro da Cortona. From Villa Borghese to the Trevi Fountain the artworks and urban spaces will provide an opportunity to discuss aspects like Baroque illusionism, artistic techniques, influential art theories, and the religious and political contexts of art production and collection in this dynamic and vibrant period.
Students will be immersed in the cultural, political and religious environment of Baroque Rome through direct engagement with painting, sculpture and architecture. The course will introduce core art historical concepts and terminology, including many Italian ones, through readings and on-site discussion of works. Major themes treated in the lectures include the relationship between artists and their patrons; experimentation with media to produce new visual effects; and the increasing interrelation of different media that created new environments within the churches, palaces and urban spaces of Rome. There will be close study of major works by Caravaggio, Bernini and Borromini, as well as the opportunity to explore the works of lesser-known artists and works often not included in standard texts of the period.

Students will gain from this course:

•the methodological tools for interpreting painting and sculpture through formal and contextual analysis, gained through reading a variety of art historical texts and first-hand examination of art works

•a familiarity with architectural styles and vocabulary to discuss the formal quality of buildings and urban spaces

•an understanding of the Baroque period from both aesthetic and historical perspectives

•familiarity with some of the most important artists working in the period, and the means of identifying their particular style.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Patrons and Painters: Art and Society in Baroque ItalyFrancis HaskellYale University Press0300025408  
Baroque and Rococo, Art and CultureVernon Hyde MinorPrentice-Hall9780130856494  
Roman Baroque Sculpture: The Industry of ArtJennifer MontaguYale University Press9780300053661  
BerniniHoward HibbardPenguin Books9780140135985  
The Lateran in 1600: Christian Concord in Counter-Reformation RomeJack FreiburgCambridge University Press9780521460576 NA5620.S4F74  
Seventeenth-Century Roman Palaces: Use and Art of the PlanPatricia WaddyMIT Press9780262231565 DG797.9.W33  
Italy and Spain, 1600-1750. Sources and DocumentsRobert Enggass, ed.Prentice-Hall9780135081013 N6916.E5 
The Rome of Alexander VIIRichard KrautheimerPrinceton University Press9780691002774 NA9204.R7K7  

Class ParticipationThe lectures, which meet almost entirely on site, will involve complex analysis at the monuments themselves. To grasp the concepts presented in course readings and handouts, attendance and active participation is essential. Students will be evaluated on their attention to lectures by questions asked and ideas discussed. Perfect attendance will be rewarded with the chance to add 5 points to either the midterm or final exam. 3 or more absences without an official excuse will be reported to the Dean's office.10%
2 TestsComprehension of art historical terms, correct identification of individual works and an understanding of their significance. See the schedule for test dates.20%
Midterm ExaminationSlide identifications; short answer questions regarding historical and stylistic terminology, and patronage; essay topic treating major themes treated in class and readings. 20%
Writing AssignmentPaper (approximately 6-8 pages in length with bibliography and illustrations) assessing the context for a specific work of art or architecture. Instructions and a specific schedule for completing the paper will be distributed separately. 25%
Final ExaminationThe format of the final exam is identical to that of the midterm, and will cover the material from the second half of the semester, with the exception of the final essay questions which will treat themes covered over the entire semester.25%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the cour
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

Attendance is required and active participation is essential. Perfect attendance will be rewarded with the chance to add 5 points to either the midterm or final exam. 4 or more absences without an official excuse will result in a failing grade for the course.
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.





Meeting Place

Required Readings

Tests & Assignments

Aug 29

Course Introduction: Rome in the era of the Catholic Reformation


Classroom G.K.1.1

Readings for each lecture should be completed before the lecture


Sept 5

Renewal and Revelation: Transformation of the Early Christian Basilica

Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore (see directions below)


•Vernon Hyde Minor, Baroque & Rococo: Art and Culture, Chapter 1 and pp. 41-56 of Ch. 2. Library Reserves N6410 .M56


•Jack Freiburg, The Lateran in 1600: Christian Concord in Counter-Reformation Rome, Introduction (pp. 1-4) and Ch. 4 (pp. 81-129). Library Reserves NA5620.S4 F74



Sept 12

Vision(s) and Apparitions: Rethinking the Church Interior

In front of the Chiesa Nuova, Corso Vittorio Emanuele


•Haskell, Patrons and Painters, pp. 62-72 of Ch. 3

•Robert Enggass and Jonathan Brown, eds. Italy and Spain, 1600-1750: Sources and Documents, pp. 16-24 (Letter from art patron Vincenzo Giustiniani and Galileo’s thoughts on painting) N6916 .E5



Sept 19

Art collecting and entertainments in the Baroque villa

In front of the Galleria Borghese, 8:45 a.m. start time

•Hyde Minor, Baroque & Rococo, pp. 157-177 of Ch. 5

•Francis Haskell, Patrons and Painters: Art and Society in Baroque Italy, Chapter 1. N6916 .H37


Test 1 after gallery visit

Sept 26

The architecture of self-promotion: Palazzo Barberini

Piazza Barberini in front of the Triton Fountain

•Patricia Waddy, Seventeenth-Century Roman Palaces:  Use and Art of the Plan, Chapter 1 (pp. 3-13), Chapters 6 & 7 (pp. 54-66). DG797.9 .W33

Sources and Documents, on Pietro da Cortona, pp. 104-108





Oct 3



Iconographies of Faith and Power: Works at the Capitoline Museums



Piazza del Campidoglio



•Haskell, Patrons and Painters, pp. 40-62

Sources and Documents, on Reni, pp. 86-91, and Guercino, pp. 96-98



Oct 10


Classroom GK1.1

•Exam will last 90 mins, followed by library seminar on art historical research



Oct 17

The completion and decoration of St. Peter’s, 1590-1644

Piazza of St. Peter’s, at the center near the obelisk

•Vernon Hyde Minor, Baroque & Rococo, pp. 75-83 of Ch. 3 and pp. 119-124

of Ch. 4

•Haskell, Patrons and Painters, pp. 24-40 of Ch. 2



Oct 24

Mystical experience and the reformed religious orders

In front of Acqua Felice (Moses Fountain) on via Vittorio Emanuele Orlando/Piazza di S. Bernardo


•Haskell, Patrons and Painters, pp. 73-93 of Ch. 3

•Howard Hibbard, Bernini, Ch. 3 “Disaster and Triumph”



Oct 31

Pope Innocent X and the imperial Church

Piazza Navona, at the center near the Four Rivers Fountain

•Vernon Hyde Minor, Baroque & Rococo, pp. 84-93 of Ch. 3

•Jennifer Montagu, Roman Baroque Sculpture, Ch. 2



Nov 7

Creating space for ceremony in architecture

Classroom GK1.1

Richard Krautheimer, The Rome of Alexander VII, 1655-1667, Ch. 1 and Ch. 4


Test 2

Nov 14

New faces of the urban church

In front of the church of S. Andrea della Valle

Krautheimer, The Rome of Alexander VII, Ch. 6

•Jennifer Montagu, Roman Baroque Sculpture, Ch. VIII “Festivals and Feasts”



Nov 21

Picturesque Rome: Between architecture and image

Piazza del Popolo, at the center near the obelisk


Krautheimer, The Rome of Alexander VII, Ch. 8



Research paper due in class

Nov 28

Enlightenment Rome: Patronage and Politics of Popes Clement XI and Benedict XIV

Entrance of JCU Guarini Campus

Christopher Johns, Papal Art and Cultural Politics: Rome in the Age of Clement XI, Ch. 6 (pp. 132-158) and Ch. 8 (pp. 171-194). N6920.J63 1993





Directions to Meeting Places

Sept. 5             Piazza di S. Maria Maggiore/Basilica di S. Maria Maggiore

Directions: From Trastevere, express bus H on viale Trastevere goes to Termini Train Station. Alternately, take Tram 8 to Largo Argentina, then take bus 70 (direction Giolitti) which will put you very close to the church, stopping at via Gioberti.  From the side of Termini along via Giovanni Giolitti, take via Gioberti and walk approximately 3 blocks.  You will be right in front of the Basilica of S. Maria Maggiore. BE CAREFUL: If you are on Piazza dell’Esquilino near via Cavour, you are on the wrong side of the church.

Sept. 12           In front of Church of Chiesa Nuova, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Directions: From Ponte Sisto, it is approximately a 10-15 minute walk down via Giulia, then right on one of the cross streets (such as via dei Cartari) to Corso Vittorio. From Trastevere, take tram 8 to the Arenula/Cairoli stop. Walk 1 block across Largo Argentina. At the bus stop in front of the Feltrinelli bookstore, take either bus 40, 62 or 64 to the Chiesa Nuova stop.

Sept. 19           In front of the Galleria Borghese, within the Villa Borghese Park

Directions: From Trastevere, take bus 63 from via Arenula 9 stops to the Veneto/Emilia stop. Walk up via Veneto to the end, pass through the arches of the city walls and you will see the Villa Borghese in front of you. Cross the street to Viale S. Paolo del Brasile, then take an immediate right into the park on Viale del Museo Borghese. The Galleria Borghese is at the end of the path. Alternately, get to Piazzale Flaminio (on the opposite side from Piazza del Popolo) and take any bus going up the street into the park for 3 stops. Cross the street and enter the park on Viale del Museo Borghese.

Sept. 26           Piazza Barberini, in front of the Triton Fountain

Directions: From Largo Argentina take either bus 62 or 492 (both in direction Staz.ne Tiburtina), and get off at Tritone/Barberini stop. Alternately Metro A line, Barberini stop. 

Oct 3               Piazza del Campidoglio, near the statue of Marcus Aurelius

Directions: From Trastevere, take tram 8 to the last stop at Piazza Venezia. Go to the right on via del Teatro di Marcello. Immediately cross the street and walk up the ramp to Piazza del Campidoglio

Oct. 17             Piazza S. Pietro, at center of piazza near the obelisk

Directions: From Trastevere, take bus 23 (direction Piazzale Clodio). Get off at the first stop after the bus crosses the river. Walk up Via della Conciliazione to the piazza.

Nov. 14                        In front of Church of S. Andrea della Valle, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II

Directions: From Trastevere, take bus or tram to Largo di Torre Argentina. Turn left on Corso Vittorio Emanuele and walk approximately 2 blocks. Church is on the left side of the street.

Nov. 21                        Piazza del Popolo, at the center near the obelisk

Directions: From Trastevere, take bus 628 (direction Volpi/Farnesina) at Largo Argentina (in front of Feltrinelli Bookstore) for 6 stops. Get off at the Passeggiata Ripetta stop, turn right on via della Penna. At the end of the street, go left on via di Ripetta. Piazza del Popolo is the large piazza in front of you. Piazza del Popolo is also steps away from the Metro A Flaminio stop.