AH20270 Venice: Art, Myth and Identity

Academic Year 2022/2023

This is an evening course which takes place at Belfield once a week on Mondays between 6 and 8pm (please make sure you can attend at these times). Students at both levels two and three are encouraged to register, and classes will also be open to students from UCD Access and Lifelong Learning. The course investigates the dazzling art and culture of Venice and its north Italian territories, with a particular emphasis on painting during its Renaissance golden age. Our focus will be on the work of leading painters, such as Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and Tintoretto, but we shall also consider the contribution of sculptors and architects such as Jacopo Sansovino and Andrea Palladio. In studying their achievements, we shall examine a period in which many of the myths and traditions of Venice were simultaneously challenged and renewed in response to a variety of internal and external pressures. We will also step outside the renaissance occasionally, particularly during Venice's final flourish of creativity in the eighteenth century - the age of Canaletto, Tiepolo and the Grand Tour.

The course is also supported by a study day to be held on Sat 22 October 2022 at the National Gallery of Ireland devoted to Venetian paintings in its collection. Attendance at this public event, which will involve internationally renowned specialists in the field of Venetian art history, is also strongly encouraged and is free to registered students. This event will also briefly consider how Venice was regarded in the early nineteenth-century by JMW Turner (in acknowledgement of the Turner: The Sun is God exhibition which will then be running at the National Gallery of Ireland).

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this module, students should be able to demonstrate the following:
- an ability to regularly and punctually engage with classes, work to set deadlines, perform under exam test conditions without class notes, and submit original, non-plagiarised work in accordance with the standards expected at university.
- familiarity and understanding of a range of recommended texts and critical/ theoretical sources relevant to the course.
- a historical appreciation of Venice, its history, culture, and artistic development particularly with regard to painting, and the position of Venetian art within a wider Italian, and occasionally European, context.
- an understanding of how Venice's artistic development relates to its environmental, social and geo-political situation.
- the ability to articulate an appreciation of the particular technical characteristics of the art of Venice, and identify, date, and critically analyse the work of its leading practitioners.
- further develop connoisseurial skills vital to a competency in the history of art, and with particular relevance to prominent Venetian artists and architects.

Indicative Module Content:

Classes will cover the following topics:
- the myth of Venice as an ideal city
- the corporate ethos of the city as reflected through art patronage
- the iconography of the Virgin and St Mark as civic mascots
- the portrayal of the Venetian cityscape in paintings and prints
- the architectural development of Venice
- artistic portrayals of the sociopolitical situation in sixteenth-century Venice, including representations of poverty and disease
- the rise of villa culture and the work of Andrea Palladio
- the careers of Titian and his immediate rivals
- the particular technical characteristics of Venetian painting
- the role of sculpture
- the decline of Venice in the eighteenth century

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Field Trip/External Visits




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This module will ordinarily consist of a mixture of formal lectures, discussion time, and field trips.

NB. Resits and repeats: it is incumbent on any undergraduate student who fails this module to contact the lecturer as soon as possible, and early in the subsequent term, to announce their attention to resit, and to obtain details of appropriate assignments. Any resit/ repeat registration/ fee issues should be dealt with by the UCD College Arts and Humanities Programme Office.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
AH30610 - Art, Myth & Identity in Venice

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: A mid-term written essay - details tbc Unspecified n/a Graded No


Examination: A 2 hr written examination to be held in December 2022. 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback will be given to students following the submission of their continuous assessement.

Name Role
Ms Rachel Healy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Mark Tully Lecturer / Co-Lecturer