The subject of this course is the impact of historical consciousness on the production and interpretation of painting. The class is not principally about the imitation of exemplary styles (as in Classicism), although we will devote some time to that. The thrust of our reading will deal with the self-conscious use of art historical citation, especially in matters of style. Those of us involved in the seminar will share a common project with two goals: (1) to distinguish and identify fundamentally different kinds of art historical citation; (2) to develop a non-parochial vocabulary for discussing art historical citation across different historiographical traditions. Your papers will serve as case studies examining specific kinds of citation, while we will work in class to find a vocabulary adequate to the task. Your paper may employ materials from China, Japan, or early modern and modern Europe, but your final paper will need to incorporate comparative material from the Chinese tradition, seeing as most of our reading will deal with that tradition. By the end of the course we should have a working "taxonomy" of rhetorically distinct uses of citation in art. We should also be able to detach historical issues concerning citation from the particular cultural substrates in which they may appear. Each student will be responsible for a brief presentation (comments) on one of the assigned readings, but each student will read all the readings for the week. Apart from participation in class, students will deliver a brief research report in the fifth week, followed by a more formal presentation in the 12th or 13th week. That paper will be discussed in class, and after revision will constitute the final paper. No cost for materials.

Instructor: Marty Powers

  • Tuesday
  • 1:00pm - 4:00pm
  • 210 Tappan Hall
  • Credits: 3
  • Seminar