ARTS1974E: CITY LIFE: THE RISE OF CIVIC ART IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE - AND BEYOND
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In this era of globalization – made powerfully manifest by the international presence and ubiquitous impact of COVID – what role do our municipal and neighborhood environments play? How have art and artists been shaped by local conditions? What value can or should we place on distinct, native influences in the face of broad, global forces? How is art and, by extension, are we shaped by our towns and cities? This course aims to explore these questions by focusing on the creation and evolution of civic art and imagery across Europe in the early Modern period – i.e. from about 1300 to 1750. Zeroing in on political, economic, religious and cultural factors, we will analyze the various ways in which art and architecture were molded and inspired by local traditions and ideals. Among themes to be considered: the conception and creation of civic identity through the visual arts; the birth of local style; the influence of civic legal and political systems on the visual arts; local religious practices and traditions in the arts; visual examples of justice for municipal courts; urban planning and the visual arts; the rise in the status of civic artists, and the tensions between civic and court artists. The developments and ideas revealed in early modern Europe will serve as the foundation for our exploration of civic and local environments closer to home – i.e. in North America in the modern and contemporary world. Students will be responsible for an independent research project focused on the art produced within a municipal context within recent decades. Primary sources and critical readings will be used to complement class discussions. There will be at least two museum visits scheduled in place of classroom meetings, through which we will get to see – “in the flesh” – art works from Florence, Bruges, Antwerp, Venice, Madrid, Amsterdam, among other centers.
Wisse, Jacob. (2021, Fall), Syllabus, CITY LIFE: THE RISE OF CIVIC ART IN EARLY MODERN EUROPE ?�? ARTS1974E, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.