Global Baroque: Art and World-Making


This course offers an art historical introduction to transcultural encounters between European states, the Ottoman Empire, the Mughal Empire, Asia, and the Indies during the early modern era. The production, exchange, and consumption of images, decorative arts, architecture, and exotic objects in Europe and along Eurasian contact routes between 1500 and 1700 is a primary focus. The course will open with an examination of the significance of the early modern category of "the exotic" and the role of the exotic or foreign in shaping artistic and collecting practices during a period that tends to be studied with Europe at the center of the world. Throughout the semester, we will explore different modalities of "otherness," and the political stakes of representations of self and other within the context of early modern empire- and nation-building. We will analyze paintings, prints, drawings, sculptural objects, naturalia, featherwork, ceramics, porcelain, and textiles alongside primary sources, early modern history and art history, cultural and material history, the history of science, and maritime and diplomatic history. The course attends to the atrocities of slavery in the early modern world and trace the relationship of enslavement to procuring and appreciation of exotic materials. Lectures will incorporate contemporary art (installations, photography, collage, and painting) that actively engages the modern era. The course involves close study of works of art in local collections, and will include visits to the Saint Louis Art Museum, where students will be introduced to the extraordinary holdings, in particular the Phoebe Dent Weil and Mark S. Weil collection of early modern prints, drawings, and sculpture. Prerequisites: One 100- or 200-level course in Art History; or permission of the instructor
Course Attributes: FA AH; BU Hum; BU IS; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM; EN H

Section 01

Global Baroque: Art and World-Making
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