Exploring the Art History Landscape of Florence

In addition to our field work, CISA3 students were taken around Florence by CISA3 Art Historian Katharina Giraldi-Haller as part of an in-depth course (of extreme fabulousness) looking at the interface between science, technology, and the development of art and architecture in the city, with an emphasis on the interdisciplinary collaborative nature of the Renaissance artisans and workshops that produced the monuments and artifacts CISA3 studies in Florence. The course reinforced the dynamic education structure that CISA3 was founded to exemplify- as a collaborative entity which brings together students from a variety of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields with those who focus on the humanities end of art, art history, architecture, and archaeology -to produce a new hybrid of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education and training where STEAM is not just the Arts, but the wider humanities (STEA3M in a sense ;) ).

Katharina Giraldi-Haller walks us through

Katharina Giraldi-Haller walks us through the story behind the Spanish Chapel at Florence’s Santa Maria Novella.

As Emeritus Director Maurizio Seracini has put it- the Renaissance notion where the engineer and artist are one and the same is needed in the modern world. The Renaissance was a period of looking back at Antiquity and realizing what scientific knowledge had been accumulated and what could therefore be innovated upon for new heights of engineering. CISA3, in looking back not just at the Renaissance, but at global cultural heritage, is where we are making strides towards looking back at the technological prowess of mankind and figuring out new ways to go beyond what is there to develop new tools and new ways of looking at the past in the future. (paraphrased from notes taken during a meeting with M.)


The details of the Last Supper at the Ognissanti are revealed by our fabulous art historian Katharina Giraldi-Haller.


James Darling, Melissa Yui, John Mangan, and Vid Petrovic take a break between classes at the fountain in the center of Santo Spirito.


Katharina Giraldi-Haller takes us on a quick tour of Brunelleschi’s St. Spirito Basilica.


Katharina Giraldi-Haller refreshes our Medici genealogy before we head in to the Medici Chapel at San Lorenzo, Florence.


In addition to monuments, our classes took us out into the streets themselves–looking at the contextual landscape of the historic cityscape.

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