The College of Charleston recently scheduled an art history course that examines materials and techniques of Renaissance art via hands-on learning.
“These students are learning that the processes involved in creating the materials that artists in the Renaissance used are quite involved,” Professor Rebekah Compton said. “At the beginning of the course, I had the students start by making the rabbit glue binder for the wood. You have to cook that, so we had a hot plate in here. And then we had to brush the gesso on the panels and sand the surfaces before transferring the drawings onto them. There are quite a few steps involved.”
The students learn the colors used in Renaissance Florence – cochineal red, malachite green, yellow ocher, turquoise verdigris and azurite blue. The students learn the color schemes used by Renaissance painters, the processes used to create the colors, and how each artist used the colors during the era.
“I really enjoy the hands-on aspects of this class,” said senior Neha Muppala, a double major in studio art and biology. “What’s inspiring is that this is an interdisciplinary course, so you get to see how science and art overlap.”