Courses / Spring 2022

Spring 2022

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    Course Number: HA 190D | CCN: 30945

    Warburg’s Archives in Berkeley: New Perspectives on Renaissance and Baroque Art

    Henrike C. Lange

    Tuesday, Thursday: 12:30-2:00pm

    This new series of lectures highlights Renaissance / early modern and Baroque paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and architecture through the lens of Aby Warburg’s Bilderatlas Mnemosyne. In continuation of the Warburg Lab at the Bancroft and Berkeley Art Museum (Fall 2021), this course also expands the critical investigation of Warburg’s method(s) and practices by applying them to Berkeley’s local archives, collections, and digital resources for accessing and analyzing European premodern artworks (including the larger Mediterranean and North-alpine context of Southern and Northern Renaissance and Baroque and their place in cultural, social, religious, and political history). 

    Decades into the recuperation of Aby Warburg’s work, his unfinished “Mnemosyne Atlas” (63 collaged boards from 1927-1929 combining reproductions of historical sites, objects, and artworks with contemporary ads, maps, stamps, postcards, etc.) is newly accessible. Digital access to the Bilderatlas ( and its recent full folio-size, color publication offer new perspectives on the Mnemosyne project and its approach to the early modern era and the afterlife of pagan antiquity in Renaissance and Baroque art. 

    The Mnemosyne Atlas delivers the visual, iconological, and historical materials with which we will question the implications of Warburg’s practice for the digital age, for contemporary artistic practices, for material archives such as historical slides collections, and for an interdisciplinary approach to history, images, post-colonialism, trauma, disabilities, and autobiography. 

    The core lectures will be framed by an introduction to Warburg’s life, the Bilderatlas Mnemosyne project, and reflections on art history as a critical discipline, art historiography, and approaches adequate to the ethics of the field in 2022. Individual lectures will feature artists and works from Renaissance / early modern and Baroque Europe (including Giotto, Cimabue, Simone Martini, the Lorenzetti, Fra Angelico, Ghirlandaio, Botticelli, Donatello, Mantegna, the Bellini, Carpaccio, Piero della Francesca, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Caravaggio, Bernini, Raphael, Van Eyck, Brueghel, Altdorfer, Dürer, Rembrandt, Rubens, Velázquez, Tiepolo), prints, tarot cards, cosmology, iconology and visual studies, and integrate questions of historiography of the Renaissance and Baroque, photography, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, art and anthropology, Hopi, Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project, cultural history, migration, the “pathos formula,” and the figure of the “ninfa.” 

    This course is designed to connect with other and further studies in adjacent fields – including but not limited to 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 potential adjustments. 

    This course fulfills the following Major requirements: Geographical area (A) and Chronological period (II).

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