The Palace as Portrait HISTART5111

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

Using the Scottish Renaissance palaces as a primary resource, this course will explore the idea of princely image in the 16th century. It will reflect upon how architecture, sculpture, interior decoration and furnishing, portraiture and dress were used collectively in the construction and projection of this idea.


Two hours weekly, lectures and seminars, for 8 weeks and 2 one-day study trips

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses



Essay (80%), 4000 words

Oral presentation (20%), 10 minutes

Course Aims

-To develop students' understanding of the palace as the visual and material manifestation of an idea

-To foster a multidisciplinary approach to the study of princely culture in the Renaissance

-To train students in the reading and interpretation of 16th documents, particularly inventories and accounts

-To develop students' visual analysis skills through the direct encounter with the object of study

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

-Apply ideas relating to princely image such as virtue, honour, dynasty and magnificence to the visual and material analysis of the Renaissance palace

-Negotiate the relationship between different types of visual and material production in the construction of princely image

-Employ documentary evidence in the analysis of the visual and material culture of the 16th century court

- Deconstruct Renaissance decorative programmes

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.