The course explores developments in the visual arts (primarily painting and sculpture) in 15th-and 16th-century Italy and includes such artists as Masaccio, Donatello, Sofonisba Anguissola, Botticelli, Leonardo and Michelangelo. It is partly a chronological survey and partly a thematic exploration of important issues--the social construction of the artist; the concept of humanism and its effect on creative developments; the problems of Renaissance historiography; the question of whether or not women had a Renaissance. The class is also concerned with the presuppositions on which art historians have based their interpretations of Renaissance art and culture and on the methods that they have applied to support these presuppositions. Emphasis is on primary readings. Class sessions will be mostly discussion. May count towards European Studies minor.