The City in European History
I. Essay Question (1 Question; 15 Points). Select one (1) of the following questions and answer it fully. The essay should be about two pages in length. If sources are used, please cite them in your paper. Your paper will be graded on its comprehensiveness, the quality of its argument, and the use of supporting evidence. Review your essay for spelling and correct English usage.
1. The sixteenth-century painting, The Seven Wonders of Bruges, represents the city's image of itself. Agree or disagree with this statement, supporting your argument with specific evidence.
2. Describe the topography of Bruges, identifying the most important political, economic, and religious buildings (especially the Belfry and the Town Hall), and the function of each. What does the location of each of these buildings tell us about Bruges? Pay particular attention to the split between the market-place and the castle square and its impact upon the city’s topography. (The website hosted by the City of Bruges has maps, pictures, and descriptions of buildings.)
3. Describe how the Florentine patronage system functioned. Give three specific examples. How did this patronage system influence the nature of the Florentine “Golden Age”?
4. Of late sixteenth-century Rome, Girouard writes: “It was the precursor of the great modern capital cities, at once large, cosmopolitan, complex, grand and tolerant, full of variety and extremes, regarded by some as a cesspool of iniquity and by others as a haven of delight.” Explain how can such a statement can describe a city rebuilt, if we are to believe Pope Nicholas V, to exalt immensely the papacy with “noble edifices combining taste and beauty with imposing proportions. . . .”
5. Summarize the addition to the topography of Rome made by the Renaissance and early Baroque popes. Focus on the roads, particularly, the Via Pia, the aqueducts, the fountains, and city squares. What is the importance of the cathedral piazza in Livorno? What about the Piazza Navona?
6. Summarize the main features of Girouard’s overview of urban Europe in the 1660s (p. 150). What does it tell us about the future of the city?
7. How did the Dutch dedication to making money affect the urban topography and layout of the city? Note, for example, the views on pp. 154-156. How was the town hall symbolic of this dedication?
8. Describe the Bourgeois Baroque style in painting. What types of paintings did the Dutch favor and where did they display them?
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Last Update: 24.III.2004
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