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Students experience art of Italian Renaissance on location

July 24, 2013 | Valorie Coleman


Florence, Venice and Rome — the cities of the Italian Renaissance — were the destination of six Evangel University art students this summer.

Michael Buesking, associate professor of art, led the 18-day, Italian tour in May.

“Art history comes alive for the students who go on this trip,” Buesking says.

Senior Art minor Grace Bayer expected to see famous images from textbooks, like Masaccio’s Tribute Money and The Expulsion, individually framed and in a museum, not as wall murals in the Brancacci Chapel in Florence.

“After seeing these works in context, I wonder if we are missing out on some of the meaning of artwork by looking individually at paintings that are part of a greater whole,” Bayer says.

Evangel art students in Italy

Evangel art students on tour in Italy.

During their travels, the students encountered architecture as well as paintings and sculptures.

A highlight for several students was the dome of the Florence cathedral. Designed and built by Filippo Bruenelleschi in the early 1400’s, it is still the world’s largest masonry dome.

Despite the 480 steps necessary to climb to its top, senior Art major Gabe Tenneson was ecstatic about being so close to the frescos that cover the dome’s interior.

“Even with considerable review of the topic in class, the size of Bruenelleschi’s dome and the cathedral as a whole was an aspect that I could never really get used to,” Tenneson says. “The view of Florence from the top of the dome was overwhelming.”

Junior art major Danielle Hartzler came away from the trip with a simple yet important desire: to “produce artwork” instead of waiting for just the right subject to paint. “Sometimes I want so badly for my art to be just right that I fail to try,” she says. “But I picked up on the concept in Venice — just create.”

Buesking loves the impact this trip has on students.

“They really can’t get away from the sense of history when they are looking at Michelangelo’s Moses one moment, and then 15 minutes later they are standing in front of the Roman Coliseum.”


Michael Buesking, associate professor of art, contributed to this story.

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