ITA 425 The Artist and the Madman in the Renaissance and Reformation (3 credits)
What separates genius from madness? Is creativity inspiration or insanity? This interdisciplinary course examines tales of psychosis, violence and the making of artistic masterpieces. We will explore the lives and works of artists and poets, such as Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarotti, Vittoria Colonna, Benvenuto Cellini, Galileo Galilei, Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentileschi. A variety of works [poetry, prose, painting and sculpture] will be studied against the backdrop of the crisis of the Italian Renaissance. We will look closely at Counterreformation intellectual debates, religious dissent and persecution. At the center of our inquiry is the figure of the artist—genius, madman, or both? This course will be complemented by guest speakers and a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Conducted in Italian.