Western Art From The End Of The Middle Ages To The Present
This course will present students with the canonical artworks of Europe and North America produced since the Italian Renaissance as well as introduce them to some of the guiding practices and principles of art historical scholarship. Lectures explore how the making and viewing of art has been impacted by broader historical forces, including religion, technology, politics, and the rise of modern capitalism. Over the course of the term we will investigate how art "speaks" to its historical context and consider why the masterpieces of Western art look the way they do. Readings will familiarize students with past attempts by art historians to address these questions, while class discussion, visits to local museums collections, and image-based writing assignments will provide students with the opportunity to venture answers of their own. The goal of the course is to acquaint students with the fundamentals of visual analysis and demonstrate how such skills, informed by a grounded historical perspective, makes us more perceptive, active viewers of images.