Rome and St. Peter’s

The art and architecture of Rome from Antiquity to Modernity with particular attention to the Vatican, where the layering of material artifacts from successive historical periods provides an uninterrupted record of more than two thousand years; establishes a continuous narrative framework around which building in Rome can be organized; and contextualizes the cultural, artistic, and political aspirations and values of the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Modern city. The course is organized around four historic spectacles – the Emperor Augustus\’ funeral (14 A.D.), Constantine the Great\’s triumphal procession (312), a liturgical procession for the Feast the Assumption (1300), and the Canonization of Carlo Borromeo (1610) – imagined as four walks through Rome highlighting the city\’s evolving cultural and urban character. The first half of the course covers Antiquity to the Renaissance while the second looks in greater detail at specific projects from the Renaissance and after. Topics in the first part include the growth and decline of the ancient Roman city, the creation of new architectural forms and urban meanings in response to the Christianization of Empire, and the practice of pilgrimage as urban experience. The second part focuses on the style and meaning of those works of art, architecture, and urbanism which distinguish Rome and the Vatican today such as Michelangelo\’s Sistine Ceiling, Bramante\’s design for New St. Peter\’s, Bernini\’s sculpture for the rebuilt basilica, and Piranesi\’s views of ancient Rome. In general, the approach of the first half emphasizes the historical and cultural foundations which constitute the idea of Rome and utilizes primary sources while the second takes up more theoretical issues of representation and interpretation.This course satisfies the pre-requisite needed for GSD 2308: The Drawing in the City of Rome.