Greece and Rome is a survey of the major monuments of Ancient Greek and Roman art and architecture--with emphasis on the cities of Athens and Rome. The class will study not only the ancient monuments themselves, but the history of their discovery and/or excavation as well as their importance in the later western European tradition. We will consider how the way we know ancient art works--through fragments, ancient and modern copies and interpretative museum exhibits-- affects our understanding. Students will gain an appreciation of the historical significance of ancient monuments and how they have influenced and continue to influence, for better or worse, subsequent art and culture. By reading primary sources and a variety of art historical texts, we will examine how ancient works of art and architecture have been variously interpreted through the centuries and seek to develop an understanding of changing concepts of the classical.
- Ruth Kolarik: Ruth Kolarik
This class examines the art and architecture made for the major courts of 17th-century Europe, with an emphasis on the absolute monarchies. In the second half of the 16th century, a crisis occurred in European society and art.Overturned dogmas of faith, accompanied by scientific discoveries and brutal political changes, brought about the reconsideration of fundamental values of art, life and society in Europe.
Unexpectedly, these upheavals led to a renewed proliferation of innovative art.In this century of remarkably varied artistic production, paradoxes abounded.Some artists sought the illusion of reality by imitating unimproved, even base nature. Others continued the quest for perfection, returning to the lofty principles of ancient artistic canons. Artists used these different avenues to explore the expression of religious devotion through dramatic narratives, unbounded eroticism, gory details of suffering and hideous death, and transcendent visions of salvation. In addition, they offered commentary on society, on individuals, and visions of classical and heavenly utopias. They worked within (and against) a new political framework, the absolute monarchy, and developed a potent and persuasive vocabulary for the expression of power.This class will examine in depth selected works of painting, sculpture, and architecture produced by artists in the countries which remained Catholic after the religious discords of the 16th century -- e.g. Italy, France, Spain, and the Spanish Netherlands -- as well as engaging the cultural, social, and intellectual framework for the accomplishments of artists such as Caravaggio, Bernini, Poussin, Velázquez, and Rubens. We will use the topics of ownership, conspicuous consumption, and materialism as an entrance point to address questions concerning the relationship between art, politics and power; the social and intellectual status of the artist; the function of spectacle, theater, and display; the unity of the arts; religious devotion and mystical visualization, and others.