Symbols and Symbolism in Western Art
Florence University of the Arts and Apicius International School of Hospitality
Area of Study
Art, Art History
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4
Hours & Credits
OverviewThis course is divided into three parts. Since religious subject matter dominated Western art up to the end of the seventeenth century, the first part of the course will look at Christian symbolism in art and help students to decipher the visual language of images and objects in religious paintings, sculpture, architecture, and objets d'art. The emphasis will be on Italian art from the medieval and Renaissance periods, whose symbols can range from the straightforward identification of saints by objects they hold, to the more complex messages relating to Christian belief such as the concept of incarnation. The second part of the course will have a more secular focus (with an inevitably strong interconnection with religious symbolism). Through a concentration on Italian ruling families (i.e. the Medici in Florence), students will learn about the importance and significance of emblems (imprese) and symbols adopted by individuals and families during the period of the Italian Renaissance. In conclusion, students will look at the ways through which geometry is used symbolically in art and architecture to communicate a specific belief. With this regard topics feature geometric forms such as the circle, triangle, square, pentagon, and related two and three-dimensional forms such as the cross, spiral, Golden Mean, and Platonic solids. Museums visits integrated to the course include the Uffizi Gallery and the Bargello Museum.
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.