Welcome to ARTH 470Z: Venice, a seminar offered during the fall semester of 2008 at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
This site offers visitors the opportunity to see our students’ research on this remarkable city in a format we have referred to as our online exhibit. An actual exhibit on the city of Venice is clearly impossible — one could never transport the Grand Canal or Palazzo Ducale into a museum space. But technology allows us to bring together different aspects of the city, its visual culture, and history in a format where we can discuss the great palazzi along the Grand Canal or the magnificent space in front of San Marco.
Throughout the course of this semester we examined Venetian art and culture from the foundation of the city in the 5th and 6th centuries through today. The city, itself, held our attention for the first several meetings as we explored geography, politics, business, and urban issues that are peculiar to Venice and the lagoons. We then turned to the artists whose works define the city for art historians, including the following from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries: the Bellini family, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto, and the Tiepolo family. We also considered twentieth-century and contemporary artists, both Italian and non-Italian, who were so influenced by this city, including J.M.W. Turner, J. A. McN. Whistler, J. S. Sargent, F. L. Wright, Carlo Scarpa, and artists exhibiting in the approaching Biennale of 2009.
Marjorie Och, Professor of Art History, UMW