Undergraduate Seminar: Visualization: Medieval and Early Modern / Renaissance Europe
This seminar investigates the many ways in which knowledge, stories, and power structures were visualized in works of art from medieval and early modern / Renaissance Europe – paintings, statuary, relief sculpture, architecture, and graphic arts, all in relation to the influential texts of their times such as philosophical and scientific treatises, biblical sources and religious exegesis, letters, poetry, history, hagiography, travel literature, and autobiographies. The main topics throughout the semester are: Visualizations of Religion, Stories, Relationships, Science, Mythology, Power and Political Iconography, Philosophy, Humans, Animals, Time, and Space. Depending on students’ backgrounds, fields, preparation, and interests, we will read relevant texts usually in English translation (with occasional discussion of Italian, French, and German original texts). Artists in focus include Giotto, Cimabue, Duccio, Simone Martini, the Lorenzetti, Fra Angelico, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Donatello, Mantegna, the Bellini, Carpaccio, Piero della Francesca, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Caravaggio, Bernini, Raphael, Titian, Tintoretto, Van Eyck, Brueghel, Altdorfer, Dürer; historical authors include Ristoro d’Arezzo, Dante, Cavalcanti, Ghiberti, Alberti, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Dürer; secondary literature include core texts by Warburg, Panofsky, Gombrich, Warnke. Taught with object lessons in the Bancroft, in the Berkeley Art Museum, and in San Francisco.
This course is designed to connect with other and further studies in adjacent fields – including but not limited to Medieval Studies, Renaissance & Early Modern Studies, critical theory, interdisciplinary studies, and literature studies. No previous art history preparation required. Students from non-humanities backgrounds are welcome; please email Prof. Lange to discuss your interest and any potential adjustments.
This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (A) and Chronological period (II).