HISTART 394 - Special Topics
Section: 004 Caravaggio and the Death of Painting
Term: FA 2013
Subject: History of Art (HISTART)
Department: LSA History of Art
Credits:
3
Cost:
50-100
Other Course Info:
F, W, Sp, Su.
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio, is today one of the best known Italian painters of the early modern period, and his turbulent life has been the subject of numerous popular biographies, films and novels. His paintings strike many viewers as surprisingly modern, both in their formal strategies and in their confrontational attitude toward the viewer's moral sensibilities. In his own time Caravaggio's pointedly naturalistic style and deliberately abject treatment of subject matter challenged the very definition of painting as it had been established in the 15th and 16th centuries by Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo. Even in lofty religious subjects his figures look like people taken from the streets, while his dramatic illumination looks more like the harsh effects of studio lighting than the carefully modulated chiaroscuro of traditional pictorial naturalism. Confronted by such pictures, the French artist Nicholas Poussin was not alone in thinking that Caravaggio "came into the world to destroy painting." This course offers a survey of Caravaggio's work in Rome, Malta and Naples between the early 1590s and his untimely death in 1610, ranging from early still-life paintings, genre subjects and mythological pictures to the major altarpieces of his maturity. As we shall see, the artist's hostility toward the Renaissance tradition of idealized nature did not amount to a wholesale rejection of Renaissance principles. Nor did his unconventional handling of religious and mythological subjects entail a complete refusal of the spiritual and literary values of his time. Other questions to be examined include Caravaggio's unorthodox working methods; his engagement with the rough street life of Rome; the lyrical address of his musical and erotic subjects; his competition with the ghost of Michelangelo and with living masters such as Annibale Carracci; the strangely powerful emptiness of the altarpieces he painted in Malta; and the thread of self-portraiture that seems to run through much of his oeuvre.

The main reading for this course is Helen Langdon's Caravaggio, A Life (in softcover from Pimlico, ISBN 071266582X, or Westview, ISBN 0813337941). A coursepack will include period writings in English translation and an array of recent scholarly studies.

Category for Concentration Distributions: D. Europe and the U.S., 3. Early Modern

Course Requirements:

No data submitted

Intended Audience:

No data submitted

Class Format:

No data submitted

HISTART 394 - Special Topics
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
20469
Open
6
 
-
W 1:00PM - 4:00PM
002 (SEM)
P
29339
Open
2
 
-
Tu 10:00AM - 1:00PM
003 (LEC)
P
26635
Open
36
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
004 (SEM)
P
26636
Open
10
 
-
F 10:00AM - 1:00PM
005 (SEM)
P
26647
Closed
0
 
-
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
008 (SEM)
P
29337
Open
3
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
009 (LEC)
P
29040
Open
28
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
010 (LEC)
P
29581
Open
Wolv. Access
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.


ISBN: 0813337941
Caravaggio : a life, Author: Helen Langdon, Publisher: Westview Press 1st Farrar 2000
Required
ISBN: 8836622356
Caravaggio : the complete works, Author: Rossella Vodret., Publisher: Silvana 2010
Required
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

No Syllabi are on file for HISTART 394. Click the button below to search for a different syllabus (UM login required)

Search for Syllabus