In the 17th century, the visual arts of Europe continued to be shaped by the political, social and cultural convulsions that had broken out during the Protestant Reformation. This course examines the impact of changing religious practices, concerns and controversies in early modern Europe, with a focus on the second half of the 16th Century and the first half of the 17th. We will examine the phenomenon of iconoclasm, and the emergence of religious images that responded to specifically Protestant concerns. South of the Alps and Pyrenees, we will look at the concerns surrounding the sacred image in Catholic societies as its religious functions became increasingly hard to reconcile with its artistic qualities, at the impact of the Catholic Reformation, censorship, mystic visions, naturalism, and the development of the Baroque style. Artists covered include Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Rubens and Bernini.
Tracing the rise of global visual cultures, this course examines artistic interactions between Western and non-Western cultures brought on by colonialism, diplomacy and war, trade, and scientific exploration in the period 1750-1900. We study various ways in which European and American artists responded to the cultures they encountered elsewhere in the world, as well as how non-Westerners responded to the West. Emphasis is placed on the varied processes of cultural interaction and on the importance of such interaction for the development of modernity in different cultural contexts. Major non-Western regions to be studied might include China, Japan, India, the Near East, and elsewhere.
This course will introduce Hong Kong art and related aspects of Hong Kong visual culture. It will be taught in a workshop format, and will provide the opportunity for students to develop skills in art criticism as well as an understanding of Hong Kong art history.
This course will examine the relationship between image-making and cultural encounters at regional and trans-national levels, and the role of visual artefacts in the making of real and imaginative geographies. The module will begin with 16th century Jesuit missionaries propagating their “universal history” with, amongst many things, world maps, and end with an investigation of modern Chinese artists’ visions of an “East” in the global context. Themes will be organized into two or three week classes, which are designed to stimulate students into making comparisons and parallels. In each instance, connections, commonalities, and differences are examined as patterns within East Asia, and between Japan and China.
This course examines the painting and sculpture of the Indian subcontinent and considers the impact of religion, politics, and patronage on art. Through an interdisciplinary approach, we focus on Buddhist and Vedic/Hindu art in its religious context and the later art patronage of the Muslim and Mughal rulers. The course will conclude by investigating the art of colonized India through the twentieth century. The various styles of Indian art are discussed in their respective historical, religious, social, and cultural contexts.
The invention of printing with movable type, and the concurrent invention of printmaking technologies capable of reproducing images, marked an epochal development in European culture. This course investigates the ways in which these technologies arose and developed. We examine the new media that transformed visual culture in the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as the impact of printing on older forms of visual art, such as painting, sculpture and architecture. In the first section of the course we will study printmaking techniques and the multiplication of images. The invention of printmaking transformed artistic training, enabled new forms of collecting, and altered the status of the image as a medium for conveying knowledge. In studying these developments, we will look at printmakers like Dürer, Cort, Callot, Goltzius and Rembrandt. In the second section, we will look at this material through the lens of intellectual history, book history, and the history of reading.
Endowed with holy relics and forming the primary locus of the Christian mass, the altar occupied the center of the lavish architectural and visual programs that comprised medieval church buildings from the fourth century onward. Whereas triumphal arches, covered with mosaic images, had framed the space of the altar in Early Christian basilicas, and free-standing cult statues and reliquaries had come to personalize altars in twelfth-century pilgrimage churches, the end of the thirteenth century witnessed the rise of what would become the dominant field of ritual spectacle and artistic innovation in the Renaissance: the altarpiece. Painted, sculpted, or both; often outfitted with multiple hinged panels that could be opened and closed; supported by predellas that housed relics; and, in turn, bearing delicate micro-architectural armatures that surged toward the heavens, late medieval altarpieces were multimedia installations meant to provide a suitably splendid backdrop for the Eucharistic liturgy and to convey sacred truths to large congregations. They also became the testing ground for master craftsmen – woodcarvers, painters, and carpenters – who transformed their religious commissions into dazzling displays of technical virtuosity.
This module grounds the historical discussion around issues of sexuality, subjectivity, gender and domesticity, which have taken the central position in women making art since the 1960s, in a broader global circumstance, responding to the urgent need for reconsidering women’s contribution to the constitution and representation of sociocultural and geopolitical realities within the international art world beyond Euro-American centres. The first half of the course reviews key issues and debates in western feminist art movements between the 1960s and 1980s. The inclusion of case studies on the works of women artists, such as Mona Hatoum, Nikki S. Lee, Yin Xiuzhen, Shen Yuan, On Megumi Akiyoshi and others particularly from the second half of the course aims at introducing new artistic contents, and alternative cultural formats and theoretical paradigms to the on-going construction of a feminist history of art within the increasingly interconnected, yet unevenly developed globalizing contemporary society.