Office of the Registrar
Campus Address
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Phone: (603) 646-xxxx
Fax: (603) 646-xxxx
Email: reg@Dartmouth.EDU

Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2019-20

ARTH 27.01 The Ideal City

This course explores the Renaissance phenomenon of the “ideal city” – its origins, successes, and spectacular failures. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, major artists and architects like Leonardo da Vinci participated in a radical experiment that transformed how urban spaces were designed, represented, and built. The Renaissance ideal city was invented as a utopia, featuring straight processional avenues, a rigid street plan, and monumental sculptures inserted into public squares like props on a stage. We will consider three variations on the Renaissance ideal city, both in Italy and neighboring regions: fictional cities like the star-shaped Sforzinda (1465) that were imagined in sketchbooks, paintings, and the pages of printed books; new cities and towns that were built from the ground up according to ideal models of urban planning, such as Pienza (1459) and Palmanova (1593); and the demolition and reconstruction of entire neighborhoods in existing metropolises like Palermo and Rome. Throughout, we will question how Renaissance architects exploited the basic infrastructure of daily life – roads, gates, walls, squares, and even sewage systems – to perfect their environments. What role did the artistic principles of harmony, proportion, and perspective play in the design or depiction of ideal cities? How were those principles used to promote civic virtue and good governance or to reinforce social hierarchies and absolutist rule? This course has no pre-requisites and requires no prior knowledge of art history, architecture, or the Renaissance.



Distributive and/or World Culture


The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.


20S: 10A

Department-Specific Course Categories

Formerly ARTH 17.17