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. The Vatican establishes a continuous narrative framework around which building in Rome can be organized and it 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 to the present. 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. This lecture course provides an overview of art and architecture in Rome from antiquity to the present. It requires numerous short assignments such as slide quizzes and maps throughout the semester. There are no prerequisites to take the course.This course satisfies the pre-requisite needed for GSD 2308: Drawing in the City of Rome.