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Study Abroad

Symbols and Symbolism in Western Art

Conducted in English

This course is divided into three parts. Since religious subject matter dominated Western art up to the end of the seventeenth century, the first part of the course will look at Christian symbolism in art and help the student decipher the visual language of images and objects in religious paintings, sculpture, architecture and objets d'art. The emphasis will be on Italian art from the medieval and Renaissance periods. These symbols can range from the straightforward identification of saints by objects they hold, to the more complex messages relating to Christian belief, such as the concept of incarnation. The second part of the course will have a more secular focus (although there will still inevitably be a strong interconnection with religious symbolism). With a concentration on Italian ruling families (the Medici in Florence, for example), students will learn about the importance and significance of emblems (imprese) and symbols adopted by individuals and individual families during the period of the Italian Renaissance. In conclusion, the students will look at the ways geometry is used symbolically in art and architecture to communicate a specific belief. Here the concentration will be on: geometric forms: the circle, triangle, square, pentagon and, related two-and three-dimensional forms such as the cross, spiral, Golden Mean and Platonic solids. Museums visits form part of this course and include the Uffizi Gallery and the Bargello Museum. 

Classes are scheduled Monday to Friday

Travel during class time is strictly prohibited.

Location: Florence, Italy

Dates: Session I: June 18-July 16, 2011 (Program dates are NY departure and return dates.)

Courses included:  3 credits

                          1 credit (traveling course)– Cultural Introduction to Italy

                          Students earn a total of 4 credits

Faculty: Florence University of the Arts

Housing: Shared housing in apartments

Program Costs

Cost (includes all expenses below except airfare): $3255

CUNY tuition (for in-state, matriculated undergraduates): $820

FUA tuition differential: $1080

Travel insurance: $40

Housing: $675

QC program fee: $350

Student/Lab Fees: $290

        Total cost with airfare: $4255

Airfare: $1000 (estimate)

Additional costs

Minimum budget for meals and personal expenses of $15 to $20 per day
(approximately $420 to $560)

Application Deadline April 4, 2011

Programs are open to all undergraduate students from all CUNY campuses (unless restricted by level of study, language fluency, or other program criteria). Travel on Fridays and some Saturdays for some programs.

Education Abroad Office
Kiely Hall, Room 183
Queens College, CUNY
Flushing, New York 11367-1597 
718-997-5055 (FAX)  
Email: Education Abroad

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