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The University of Southampton
International Summer School

European Art History

Boy with a Basket of Fruit - Caravaggio (1571-1610)
Boy with a Basket of Fruit - Caravaggio (1571-1610)

The Italian Renaissance (which means ‘re-birth’) is seen as the birthplace (or time) of Western Art History. It is most frequently associated with the art culture and thought of the 14th and 15th centuries. This period is characterised by the development of key artistic styles, techniques and inventions, i.e. composition, perspective, colour, but also gives rise to the notion of the artist as genius, with key figures including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli and Caravaggio.

These artistic endeavours were only really possible because of the cultural climate from which they emerged. Much of the ideals that were central to the Renaissance remain relevant to our own times, i.e. self awareness; sistancing from the recent past; faith in the future; Democratization of communication – writing, printing and a moment of cultural explosion, enabling art and genius to thrive.

The academic organising this topic is Dr Jo Turney, Associate Professor of Fashion at Winchester School of Art.

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