305/MARC 323. The Themes
and Symbols of Western Art. (Excl). May be repeated
for a total of 12 credits.
Section 101 – The Art of Death in Late Medieval and Renaissance Italy. (2 credits). The course addresses Italian art of the 1200's – 1500's thematically, exploring the role of death in its creation. The purpose of this focus is to consider the cultural significance of works of art that refashion the final, transient moment of life into a transition, and absent persons into permanent artistic presences. Combining lecture and discussion, classes will begin by analyzing the ways that pain, suffering and death were transformed into beauty when major artists represented the central figure of the Western Church. Then we will turn to the social institutions that responded to death through art. The miraculous shrines and commemorative tombs of churches, portraits of families, and monuments celebrating civic heroes will be examined. Readings will include historical and anthropological studies, and the literature of the period. Our discussions will address works of artists such as Giotto, Fra Angelico, Masaccio, Mantegna, Michelangelo and Rosso. Short essays and a final examination. Cost:2 WL:1 (Dunn)
394. Special Topics. (Excl). May be elected
for credit more than once.
Section 101 – "Treasures" of Ancient China: Bronze, Jade and the Art of Politics. Gold, silver and gemstones are used in many cultures for showing wealth and power. In China, bronze and jade were traditionally the materials of choice. We can trace this tradition to the stone-age in China where we find intricate carvings of jade dragons, masks and ritual tools. Later we find skillfully crafted bronze vessels used in royal sacrifices to the imperial ancestors. In this class we will look at these materials of bronze and jade and the beginnings of Chinese culture as expressed in art. We will begin in the Neolithic and end at the beginnings of the empire. We will look at objects from some of the latest archaeological finds and from the museum. No knowledge of China or of art is necessary, but we will cover topics of interest to both. There will be two tests and one short paper. First and second year students welcome. Cost:2 WL:4 (Midkiff)
477. French Impressionism. Hist. of Art
Section 101 – Impressionism and the Spaces of Modernity. The course will concentrate on the depiction of city and suburbs by Impressionist painters of the late 1860s and 1870s. Beginning with the poet and critic Baudelaire's call for a painting of modern life, we shall discuss his concept of the flaneur, the wanderer in the city, and the early paintings of modern Paris in the work of Constantin Guys, Manet, and Monet. Then, beginning in the late 1860's we shall pursue Impressionist depictions of leisure and work, of the city and the many pursuits and locales – the cafe, theatre, circus, racetrack – in Paris and its environs. The subtitle of the course is a variant of that of Griselda Pollack's essay "Modernity and the Spaces of Femininity;" we shall read that essay in a course pack and discuss similarities and differences between the male Impressionists and the female members of the group – Morisot, Cassatt, Marie Bracquemond. Robert Herbert's Impressionism: Art, Leisure, and Parisian Society will serve as guide to the variety of subjects depicted by the Impressionists and will be required as a text for the course. Cost:2 WL:2 (Isaacson)
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