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FAH 214 - Renaissance Art


The following guide is intended to provide an overview of some of the resources available in the library and online for the study and research of the Italian Renaissance (roughly 1300 to 1590). For further research assistance, please take advantage of the reference services available to you in the Geisel Library. Stop by the Reference Desk in person or online at Ask a Librarian.


Reserve Reading List

FAH 214:  Renaissance Art


Resources for Background and Reference

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number in the reference stacks near the reference desk. They may not be checked out, but photocopiers are available on the lower level of the Library. Online reference sources can be found in the library catalog, or listed on E-Reference Resources. Use reference resources to find background information on religion, social issues, historical periods, and themes being addressed in this course.

Europe, 1450 to 1789:  Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World
The e-encyclopedia offers good overviews of art and culture in Renaissance Europe.

Oxford Art Online
This database provides access to the full contents of The Grove Dictionary of Art as well as several other resources in the fine arts. View  thumbnail art images, conduct keyword searches, or browse the database by geographic area, time period, or art form.

New Catholic Encyclopedia 2nd Edition
This resource is "prized for its scholarly presentation of persons and subjects related to Catholicism and the humanities."

New Dictionary of the History of Ideas
This fully-searchable reference document encapsulates the thinking of different eras and cultures.

Oxford Reference Online
This collection comprises over one million dictionary definitions, facts, figures, people, places, sayings, and dates from 150+ of Oxford's central English and bilingual dictionaries, usage, quotations, and subject reference books. Important titles for this class include The Oxford Companion to Western Art; The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists; and A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

Encyclopedia of Italian Renaissance and Mannerist Art
     Ref N6370 .E53 v. 1-2

The Italian Painters of the Renaissance
     Ref ND615 .B55 1952

Italian Pictures of the Renaissance; a List of the Principal Artists and Their Works with an Index of Places
     Gen ND621.V5B48

Renaissance Artists & Antique Sculpture: A Handbook of Sources
     Ref NB85 .B63

Iconography and Symbols

Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art
     Ref N7560 .H34

Encyclopedia of Comparative Iconography
     Ref N7560 .E53

The Oxford Companion to Christian Art and Architecture
     Ref N7830 .M87

Pagan Mysteries in the Renaissance
     Gen N6915.W53

Signs & Symbols in Christian Art
     Ref N7830 .F37

Source Material

Documentary History of Art:  The Middle Ages and the Renaissance
     Gen N5303 .H762 v.1

Italian Art, 1400–1500:  Sources and Documents
     Gen N6915.I78

Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors & Architects
     Gen N6922.V213 (print version)

Northern Renaissance Art, 1400–1600; Sources and Documents
     Gen N6370.S66

Northern Renaissance Art:  Painting, Sculpture, the Graphic Arts from 1350 to 1575
     Gen N6370 .S6

Materials to Assist with Writing the Research Paper

A Short Guide to Writing about Art
     Ref N7476 .B37 2011
     Online:  Art History Writing Guide

Writing about Art
     Ref N7476 .S29 2002


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Finding Books/Secondary Sources

Subject Headings Suggestions for the online Catalog

Painters — Italy

Art, Renaissance

Art, Renaissance — Italy

Art, Early Renaissance — Italy

Arts Renaissance

Artists Italy

Art Technique

Artists Materials

Humanism Italy

Medici House Of

Keywords to consider when using the online Catalog. Consider combining keywords using the connector "and".

  • Name of artist
  • Name of period
  • Type of artwork:  altarpiece, painting, etc.
  • Geographic area:  Florence, Venice, etc.
  • Media of the painting:  fresco, oil, tempera
  • Name of museum where painting is located — you may find more information in a museum catalog

If you are unable to locate materials in the Geisel Library Catalog, search libraries worldwide using WorldCat.


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Find Journal Articles

Below are several databases that may yield useful journal articles for your research. Some focus on art and architecture criticism while others will provide historical, theological, and socio-cultural context for your area of study. Try searching on the same keywords that you used in the book catalog. Remember to use Boolean operators and wildcards (the asterisk symbol) to improve your search.

In the results screen, if there is no full-text link readily available, click on the WebBridge icon to determine whether the journal is available in the Geisel Library or in full-text via another electronic database. If the article isn't available, consider clicking on the Interlibrary Loan link to request a PDF copy of the article from another library. Articles requested via ILL will be delivered to your email inbox within about a week. Please read the WebBridge info carefully. If the book or article is already available at Saint Anselm College, you will not be able to obtain it through Interlibrary Loan.

Academic Search Premier
Gain access to full-text articles and citations from a wide range of journal titles, covering the arts and more.

Arts & Humanities Citation Index
Provides indexing to the world's leading arts and humanities journals and includes articles, bibliographies, editorials, letters, and reviews. (1980–present)

Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA)
This important database from the Getty Museum of Art provides indexing of material published between 1975 and 2007.  Note that WebBridge links are not activated;  see a librarian for assistance in determining availability of resources.

Historical Abstracts
Provides abstracts to journal articles, books, and dissertations covering world history from 1450 to the present (excluding North America).     Journal List (PDF/59KB)

LexisNexis Academic
Find full-text newspaper articles from local, national and international papers. Gain access to full-text general reference information as well.

New York Times
"The New York Times (1851–2003) offers full page and article images with searchable full text back to the first issue. The collection includes digital reproductions providing access to every page from every available issue."

Times of London
The digital archive of 200 years of London's leading newspaper(1785–1985). The collection includes full page images with fully searchable text.

A large collection of back issues of major journals in the humanities and social sciences, including the Arts and Asian Studies. Coverage is generally from the beginning of publication to within 5 years of the current issue.

Project MUSE
"Project MUSE provides online, worldwide, institutional subscription access to the full text of more than 200 scholarly journals in arts and humanities, social sciences, and mathematics."     Journal List

This bibliography pertaining to the Middle Ages and Renaissance (400–1700) also offers full-text articles of Renaissance Quarterly (2000–current), Early Theatre (1998–current), and Renaissance and Reformation (2000–current). There are citations for journal articles (1842–current), reviews, bibliographies, abstracts, and more. (1784–current)    Searching Guide


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Find Images

Connect to ARTstor to access a half -million images and related text. These images can be printed for use in your paper, or included in PowerPoint demonstrations. Ask a Reference Librarian if you require assistance using ARTstor.

Images are also available from JSTOR, Oxford Art Online, and Google Images.


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Selected Websites

Renaissance Art

Medici Archive Project

Renaissance Europe — Metropolitan Museum of Art

Web Gallery of Art — European Painting and Sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque Periods


Fogg Museum, Harvard University

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Frick Collection

Metropolitan Museum of Art

National Gallery of Art

Yale University Art Gallery


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Citing Sources

Work cited in this class should use the formats as described in the Chicago Manual of Style, available at the Library's Reference Desk (Ready Ref. Z253 .U69 2010). See the library's Citing Sources guide, which provides online examples for Chicago/Turabian.


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