Undergraduate Seminar: Vermeer: Looking, Speaking, Listening, Touching
Friday | 9:00 - 12:00pm
Johannes Vermeer was working near the end of the Dutch “Golden Age.” His art is not innovative, but retrospective. It looks back over a tradition of picture-making, taking visual and epistemological concerns established by others and pushing them toward conclusions. In this seminar, therefore, we will look at paintings by Vermeer, and also by his contemporaries in the Dutch Republic, by framing them within larger categories of perception and experience that we can consider in historical terms. Each week we will explore a different concept – space, objecthood, silence, sound, habitat, nature, resemblance, narrative, seduction – and consider how we can understand Vermeer and his take on Dutch visual culture by employing that concept. Students will write a number of short close analysis papers and (for those taking the class for 4 units) a final, research-based study which they will also present to the class. This course is appropriate for both art history majors and non-majors, and may be taken for 2 or 4 units.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (A) and Chronological period (II), based on the topic of the final research paper or project.