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The Faculty Board of Architecture and History of Art give notice that they have approved the following special subjects for the History of Art Tripos, 2001 (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 307):
This course is designed to explore the transformation of knowledge and understanding of the 'Orient' by focusing on the historical evolution of visual representations of the Ottomans. This process of evolution is not regarded as 'progress', but as a complex cultural and political appropriation, taking into account that each generation had its own ways and methods of observing, recording, transporting, and emulating Ottoman culture. The course will introduce students to a select group of works of art and architecture elucidating the cultural, political, and economic links between Europe and the Ottoman Empire from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. This time-span is deliberately extensive in order to show that the characteristics of cross-cultural interactions are more visible across a long period. The lectures will examine, amongst others, works by Albrecht Dürer, Gentile Bellini, Melchoir Lorich, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, William Chambers, Emmanuel Héré, François Boucher, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, William Hogarth, John Frederick Lewis, William Morris, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Eugène Delacroix, Owen Jones, and Matthew Digby Wyatt. They will be studied in their historical contexts, with special attention paid to changing ideas about the Orient and how these changes emphasize different aspects of European interaction with the Ottomans, and how they reflect artistic conventions. The course will also address concepts by means of which cross-cultural works of art and architecture can be analysed and understood. By analysing the images of the Ottomans within the European visual culture, students will also learn about the art and architecture of the Ottomans.
This special subject investigates the key period in the development of English Gothic art. It will begin by considering the rebuilding and decoration of the choir of Canterbury Cathedral in response to the cult of St Thomas, before moving on to examine the role of the Church in the propagation of Gothic architecture, and especially the 'episcopal style' at such places as Wells, Salisbury, Lincoln, Ely, and York. The course will then consider the development of figurative art in sculpture, manuscript painting, wall and panel painting - notably Psalters, Apocalypses, and saints' Lives - stressing collections in Cambridge. The role of court patronage from Henry III to Edward III will be explored, at Westminster and elsewhere. Emphasis will also be given to the role of the Church in defining the function of religious art in the wake of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215, particularly with respect to the parishes and to lay patronage and religious belief and practice. Doctrinal and devotional issues will thus form an important theme. Other topics covered will be the origins and development of the Decorated Style, and the emergence of 'East Anglian' illumination in the fourteenth century, again with reference to art and architecture in and around Cambridge.
The evolution of the Venetian townscape depended on a range of distinctive factors. This course examines the peculiar physical problems of building on marshy lagoon islands and the reasons lying behind this choice of site. Through the chosen period, the changing nature of the respective roles of client, craftsman, and architect is investigated. We consider the nature of Venetian society, both secular and religious, and the architectural settings that evolved to accommodate it. In the context of the city's role as a great international emporium, we analyse how trading contacts influenced architectural expression. With the help of written descriptions and visual renderings of the townscape, the ideological content embodied in both private and public building is explored.
A study of Dürer as a painter, an engraver, a draughtsman, and a theorist will demonstrate his prevailing place in the Northern Renaissance. His travels will be studied and the impact of new ideas and forms on the development of his art. This will involve a comparative analysis of Italian and Northern trends. However, the principal aim will be to show the place of Dürer's production within his social and cultural environment (humanist, popular, religious, etc.). This approach should allow an understanding not only of the artistic but also of the cultural aspects of Dürer's art.
These years encompass the High Renaissance in Rome, from the election of Julius II to the Sack of Rome by the troops of the Emperor Charles V in 1527. It was a period in which, under the patronage of successive Popes, Julius II, Leo X, and Clement VII, some of the grandest works of western painting, sculpture, and architecture were produced, by artists such as Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bramante, all of whom undertook massively ambitious projects which marked a new phase in Western Art, one in which the achievements of Classical antiquity were equalled if not surpassed: the Sistine Ceiling and the Julius Tomb, the Vatican Stanze and the Villa Madama, the Belvedere Courtyard and St Peter's. But it was also, towards the end of the period, that a new expressive and sometimes eccentric current of art began to appear, later known as Mannerism. This course will concentrate on the major projects and the major artistic personalities, situated in the context of the activities of the patronage of the Popes and their courts, but the antecedents of the Roman High Renaissance in Florence, Umbria, and Milan will also be looked at, as will the activities of the artists of the next generation in Rome between the death of Raphael in 1520 and the Sack.
The option will study stained glass, its production, function, and significance, from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries, looking mainly at England but always in relation to continental developments. Through concentrating on one medium, it will be possible to examine the processes underlying stylistic change as well as the wider socio-political, economic, and religious factors; also covered will be the effects of technological advances, the varying design sources, and the role of medievalism as a reaction to contemporary culture.
This course will treat painting in Venice during the period c. 1480 - c. 1530. It will begin with a consideration of the later work of Giovanni Bellini, emphasizing both his private and public paintings. It will continue with a close examination of the work of Giorgione, who remains one of the most fascinating and most mysterious artists of the period, in an effort to determine both the make-up of his oeuvre, surviving and lost, and the nature of his innovations. The Venetian career of one of Giorgione's most significant followers, Sebastiano, will be examined, and the course will culminate with a detailed study of the early career of one of the greatest of all European painters and the artist who indelibly marked the Venetian school, Titian, concluding with the work produced just before he came to be patronized by Charles V. In addition, attention will be paid to several contemporary painters whose work, while not generally at the level of these major figures, is nevertheless of great interest: Gentile Bellini, Carpaccio, Cima da Conegliano, and Palma Vecchio.
European art of the period covered by this course is characterized by fierce individualism on the one hand and by an emphasis upon artistic alliances on the other. From Whistler's Ten o'clock (1885) to the explosions of the Futurists at the Sackville Galleries (1912), artists took to the podium to expound their ideas about art. The Salon des Indépendents in Paris, like the New English Art Club in London, offered the comfort of mutual support to like-minded artists who found themselves at odds with the official taste of the Salon and the Royal Academy respectively. Travel between the major centres of artistic production became an important element in campaigns by the avant-garde, first within Europe, then, by the end of the period, between Europe and the United States of America. The course will attempt to study the careers of individual painters against this background of alliances. It will relate theory to practice and will take account of the relevant social and political pressures. It will touch upon the following broad topics: after Impressionism, Symbolism, the impact of non-Western cultures, Cubism, the machine aesthetic, and the emergence of abstraction.
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Cambridge University Reporter, 19 May 1999
Copyright © 1999 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.