This semester in Rome I am taking four courses towards my fine art major and art history minor. They are Survey of Printmaking Techniques, Baroque Art History, Early Renaissance Art History, and Introduction to Italian. All of these classes are offered at Temple Main Campus in Philadelphia; however, I want to share with you what makes taking them here in Rome so unique.
Each week I attend these classes in the traditional classroom setting…but in addition to that time, I also get to continue my learning out in the world that Rome offers me. For example, in my Printmaking class all of my ideas for prints are inspired by the artwork of all the masters around me. All I have to do is take my sketchbook and step outside, walk in any direction for less than a minute, and up pops a sculpture to sketch. We also had a field trip to the Printmaking Cabinet in Rome where we saw firsthand some of the first presses used to make prints. We were also treated to “Five hundred years of printmaking: from Andrea Mantegna to Max Klinger” where Professor Mario Teleri shared his knowledge of the collection of prints to the class.
For both of my art history courses I have class twice a week. The first class is an hour and a half in the classroom where the professor shows us slides and gives us important vocabulary for our notes. The next day we have on-site meetings where, for three hours, we get to go on location and see the artwork we are learning about (and much more) in the course. Even though classes have only been in session for three weeks, I have already experienced and learned an enormous amount of information from being on-site. For example, in my Baroque Art History class we went to the Galleria Doria Pamphilj museum to see a collection of work collected by the Pamphilj family. We saw a painting by Guercino titled “Erminia Finds the Wounded Tancred” and it was breathtaking. We also have visited some churches to see Carravagio’s work insitu (on the site that it was made for). We began lecture at a church named Santa Maria del Popolo and saw the Martydrom of Saint Peter and Conversion of Saint Paul. The second church, San Luigi dei Francesi, was home to Inspiration of Saint Matthew, Calling of Saint Matthew, and Martyrdom of Saint Matthew. Finally, we visited Sant’ Agostino to see and learn about the Madonna of Loreto.
In my Early Renaissance class we started off week one with a visit to the Pantheon and Capitoline Museum. At the museum we were given a fantastic view of the Roman Forum. It was a great introduction to the course because we had to know what kind of art came before the time of the Early Renaissance in order to better understand what we would be learning. The second week we met in a part of Rome called Trastevere where we visited two churches. The first is named Santa Maria where we saw Early Christian mosaics displayed on the altar pieces. The second church was Santa Cecilla which was home to the Gothic Art of Cavallini. We had a nun who let us into the private sanctuary where we had an intimate look at old frescoes that were fading away. Just recently, we met on-site at the Vatican where we got to see Gothic and Renaissance painting in the Vatican Picture Gallery.
Finally, I have Italian class which meets four times a week for one hour each. Although there have not been any on-site classes for Italian (we meet in the classroom everyday) I can still tell you how Rome is my classroom for this class. As if it wasn’t obvious enough, everything I learn in class I get to use 24/7 in the city I’m living in! Everywhere I look I see signs written in Italian, I here locals on the metro and bus talking Italian, and I attempt to use the phrases I’m learning about during my everyday activities of ordering food or asking for directions.
So there you have it. Sure, you can take classes at Temple’s Main Campus in Philadelphia, but just think about the unique twist the course can get if you take it here at Temple Rome. And these are only four of the many classes offered here….there are many other majors available. So, what are you waiting for? Apply to study abroad today!