Baroque Art: Materiality and Experience


The materiality of art is evident-and central to how art looks, how it means, and how it endures. This course is intended as an introduction to the materiality of objects and works of art made during the Baroque era (c. 1550-1700) and to concepts for understanding and interpreting them. Works in a variety of materials-ivory, wax, woods, feathers, shells and mother-of-pearl, oil paint, lacquer, metal, fresco, stone, porcelain and earthenware-populate a series of case studies drawn from European, Mesoamerican, and East Asian workshops. In addition to learning about what goes into making these works, students will trace the geographies of materials, and the ways in which materials, format, and durability all affect the viewer's experience. Students will read, analyze, and discuss current research on the makings of art, on theories of the materiality of art, and problems in art conservation-and will participate in close examination of works in local museums and special collections. This course will introduce students to some of the central topics in early modern art history as it is practiced by scholars/historians *and* by archaeologists, museum curators, archivists, and conservators. Students will be introduced to a wide data set of objects and art works, and will learn how to analyze, articulate, discuss, and research aspects of their materiality. Rather than focusing on memorization, this course encourages using concepts from a set of assigned readings to reflect on the objects we discuss together. Students will work in small groups and as a class to advance their own vocabulary for and understanding of early modern materiality and experience. Prerequisites: L01 113, L01 215, or permission of instructor
Course Attributes: AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM; EN H; FA AH

Section 01

Baroque Art: Materiality and Experience
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