Art in Renaissance Venice
Art in Renaissance Venice

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Art in Renaissance Venice

Renaissance Art Reconsidered

This course explores the relationship between Venetian art and the art of both Byzantium and other geographical areas to the East. Venice looked eastward as the result of its unique position as a maritime trading centre facing not only inwards, towards the Italian peninsula, but also outwards, towards Asia and the Middle East. All this was in addition to Venice’s trade and cultural exchange with northern Europe. These are two of the ‘axes’ of intersection with other cultures noted in the chapter. The third axis is a chronological rather than a geographical one: that of Venice’s relations with the past of antiquity. As you will learn, this was a very different one from other Italian cities, which had been part of the Roman Empire, and therefore bore architectural and sculptural reminders of the classical past.

A great deal of the course is devoted to the representation of ‘the East’, a term that is problematised both in the chapter Introduction and in the chapter itself. It is very important for you to be aware of the distinctions made in the chapter, because such a broad term cannot be properly understood in a simple generic sense. Whenever you come across this term, make sure you understand in what sense it is being used, especially if you encounter it in older literature, where it may be used quite differently.

At the beginning of the course, Paul Wood presents the concept of ‘the collage, the montage or … the palimpsest’ as a metaphor for Venetian culture during this period, and emphasises the diversity of peoples who co-inhabited the islands of the lagoon.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371