This course is an exploration of the making of masterpieces and the development of genres in European Art (religious, mythological, portraiture, landscape, the nude, etc.) through paintings in London’s National Gallery. Exploration continues “behind” the masterpieces themselves: London’s outstanding array of museums and galleries constitutes the basis for further discussion of major art-historical themes (restoration and conservation, artists’ houses and education, patrons and collectors, taste and connoisseurship, fakes and forgeries, etc.). Students will learn how to ‘read’ works of art and will come to some understanding of why particular genres were, in particular periods, more successful than others, and equally why specific artworks (such as Leonardo’s Mona Lisa or Michelangelo’s David) are accorded today an almost mythical status, due to taste and values which might not necessarily coincide with those of the time in which they were created. Students will further benefit from guest lectures and discussions with established London artists. Weekly visits to the National Gallery and other museums, will enable students to test theories put forward in class in front of original artworks.
Course Restriction: In some semesters, this course is not open to students in another course with an HOA rubric except for art history majors by request. Please check academic update for any restriction for the current semester. These courses include HOA 201, HOA 208, HOA/HST 300.1, and HOA 372.
Department: Art History
Semesters: Fall, Spring