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The Art of 16th Century Venice (10 credit points)

Course Times & Enrolment

Wednesdays from 15th April 2020 (Code AA204-303) Wednesdays from
15th April 2020 11:10am - 1:00pm • (10 classes)
Holyrood Campus • Tutor: Lesley Fraser MA (Hons) MSc
Sorry, this course is cancelled

Course Summary

16th century Venice was extraordinarily rich in artistic talent. In addition to the illustrious Titian, a constellation of artistic geniuses worked in Venice producing paintings of the highest quality. This course will examine in detail the careers of some of these artists placing them within their cultural and political contexts.

Please note, this course includes a field trip (a visit the National Gallery of Scotland).

Course Details

Content of Course

1. Introduction to the City State of Venice, La Serenissima, created out of inhospitable marsh land with few natural resources yet became one of the wealthiest states in Europe. Carpaccio, Lion of St Mark; Bellini, Procession in the Piazza di S. Marco; Bellini, Portrait of Doge Loredan; Titian, the Assunta.

2. Giovanni and Gentile Bellini, their influence on Venetian painting, Young Woman at her Toilet, Madonna with Saints.

3. Giorgione and the birth of the female Nude, Venus, the Tempest, Laura; Carpaccio and the influence of Netherlandish art, Dream of St Ursula, Healing of the Possessed Man.

4. Titian, his early career, The Assunta, The Three Ages of Man, Venus Rising from the Sea.

5. Titian, his later career, Diana and Actaeon, Diana and Callisto, Portrait of Charles V.

6. Tintoretto, painter to the ‘middling folk’, Finding the Body of St Mark, Miracle of the Slave, Christ Carried to the Tomb.

7. Veronese, painter to the nobility, The Feast in the House of Levi, The Wedding at Cana, The Family of Darius before Alexander.

8. Lorenzo Lotto, The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome, Peter, Francis and an Unidentified Female Saint, Venetian Woman in the Guise of Lucretia; Jacopo Bassano, The Adoration of the Kings, St Roche among the Plague Victims.

9. Venetian courtesans, neither lady nor whore; Titian, Flora, The Venus of Urbino, Paris Bordon, Venetian Women at Their Toilet.

10. Visit to the National Gallery of Scotland.

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 sixteenth-century Venetian painting;

  • Be familiar with the artists responsible for the work;

  • Understand the role of the international art market in the dissemination of Venetian painting;

  • Critically engage with the historical circumstances and extant evidence.


Core Readings


  • Clark, Michael, Bowron, Edgar and Butterfield, Andrew, 2010. Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting. Newhaven CT: Yale University Press.

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

  • Humfrey, P., 1995. Painting in Renaissance Venice. Newhaven CT: Yale University Press.



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.