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Masters of the High Renaissance: Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

Wednesdays from 15th January 2020 (Code AA202-203) Wednesdays from
15th January 2020 11:10am - 1:00pm • (10 classes)
LG49 Paterson's Land, Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Lesley Fraser MA (Hons) MSc
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

These three men were amongst the most inspired creators in the history of art exerting a powerful force on the Italian High Renaissance and on subsequent western art in general. This course will examine each artist’s career in detail, placing it within the cultural and political context of the time.


Course Details

Content of Course

1. Leonardo: early career.

2. Leonardo in Milan.

3. Leonardo: late career.

4. Michelangelo: early career.

5. Michelangelo: David, the Sistine ceiling.

6. Michelangelo in Rome: the Julius Tomb project, the Brutus.

7. Michelangelo: the Last Judgement, his work as the architect of St Peter's.

8. Raphael: early career in Urbino and Florence.

9. Raphael in Rome: from the Stanza Segnatura to the Sistine Madonna and Madonna of the Chair.

10. Raphael in Rome: from Galatea to the papal tapestries.

Teaching method(s)

Classroom teaching, PowerPoint presentation and class discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a wide-ranging knowledge of the artwork which characterised the Italian High Renaissance;

  • Be familiar with the artists responsible for the work;

  • Critically engage with the historical circumstances and extant evidence;

  • Analyse the iconographic and compositional elements of a work of art.


Core Readings


  • Gombrich, E., 1995. The Story of Art. Oxford: Phaidon

  • Hall, Marcia, ed., 2005. The Cambridge Companion to Raphael. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  • Wallace, William E., 2010. Michelangelo: the Artist, the Man and His Times. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  • Zöllner, Frank and Nathan, Johannes, 2011. Leonardo da Vinci: The Complete Paintings and Drawings. Taschen: Cologne


10 credit courses have one assessment. Normally, the assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark, submitted by week 12. To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40%. There are a small number of exceptions to this model which are identified in the Studying for Credit Guide.

Studying for Credit

If you choose to study for credit you will need to allocate significant time outwith classes for coursework and assessment preparation. Credit points gained from this course can count towards the Certificate of Higher Education.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.