This digital learning environment offers students the opportunity to engage the art and architecture of Renaissance Venice. Prof. David Rosand is developing a program devoted to building a web space where students may explore one of the most complex cultural centers of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in Italy.
Students are oriented in Venice using the famous view of the city by Jacopo de'Barbari, a monumental woodblock print dated 1500. The version we are using is in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Through the use of a digital magnifying glass, students are guided as they explore the urban topography of Renaissance Venice. With a click, visitors may compare the Venice of 1500 with line drawings and aerial views of the modern city that appear within the frame of the magnifying glass.
From the aerial view of the whole city, students proceed to explore details of individual works of art and architecture. As they travel through Venice, the magnifying glass signals points on the map at which monuments are treated in greater detail. For example, the Scuole Grande di San Marco, a charitable confraternity of the period and one of the most important monuments of Renaissance Venice, both for its architecture and interior pictorial decoration, is analyzed on four levels, including: (1) The urban context in Piazza San Giovanni, the second largest public space in Venice; (2) The important sculptural decoration of the façade including scenes from the Life of St. Mark; (3) The major pictorial cycles in the chapter room and albergo including works by Bellini and Tintoretto; (4) Workspaces offer students a place to examine individual works of art in greater detail including historical documents and iconographic analysis.
This is only a BETA version of the map. In the Spring of 2007, the Visial Media Center conducted extensive field documentation in Venice. The center captured several hundred QuickTime Virtual Reality nodes as well as conventional photos of buildings and sites throughout La Serenissima. These images, along with additional layers focusing on the processional routes, festivals, and tours so intimately connected to the city.