This course explores the vital, many-facetted visual culture of seventeenth century Europe with particular focus on the pictorial and plastic arts. Lectures will consider the extraordinary achievements of such well-known figures as Caravaggio, the Carracci, Artemisia Gentileschi, Bernini, Velázquez, Rubens, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and Vermeer, as well as other visually interesting but less familiar works by their contemporaries. We will be looking not only at painting and sculpture, but also at some architecture, drawings, prints, maps, and book illustrations, in order to glimpse some of the many ways in which visual culture operated in the seventeenth century. Lectures and readings are designed to show the place of art within scientific inquiry, religious practices, politics, cultural encounter, social and economic life.
The principal goals of this course are:
Requirements include informed participation in discussion sections, a midterm test, a final examination, and a short paper. Category for Concentration Distributions: D. Europe and the United States, 3. Early Modern
- to familiarize you with key artistic achievements of the period
- to situate these works within their historical circumstances
- to help you develop skills of visual and historical analysis.
Textbooks/Other Materials: pdfs of all readings are on CTools; there is an optional textbook
two visual tests with IDs and specific questions for short essays (20% of total grade for the midterm, 30% for the final); 7-8 page paper concentrating on visual analysis (30%); class participation, including pop quizzes (20%).
undergraduates with little or no art history background
two one-hour lectures and one one-hour section per week