"Experiencing Early Modern Sculpture" engages with the visual and material characteristics and practices particular to sculpture. Often relegated to the sidelines of art history classes, this course seeks to teach how to talk about sculptures and to explore the diverse contexts and processes with which sculptors worked. This medium-specific focus allows us to consider how sculptures functioned in the early modern period while building bridges to our contemporary surroundings and viewing practices. We will discuss basic theoretical and art historical issues raised by sculptures (such as mimesis and the agency of art objects), learn how the objects were made, consider their visual effects, and explore how audiences past and present interact with sculpted works. To underscore the vast differences between, for example, small-scale terracotta models and monumental bronze statues, this course will take full advantage of local, campus, and regional sculpture collections as stand-ins for participating with the visual and material qualities exclusive to the art form. While early modern European sculpture will be the course's core, the in-person assessment of sculptures and display practices will enliven our understanding of and appreciation for sculpture.
HISTART Distribution Requirements:Medieval and Early Modern, Europe and the US
Image: Alonso Berruguete, Adoration of the Magi (detail), 1537-early 1540s. Chapel of the Epiphany, Church of Santiago Apóstol, Valladolid. Photo by Guy Rogers III