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COURSE NAME: "Baroque Art and Architecture"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2019

INSTRUCTOR: Laura Foster
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TTH 1:30-2:45 PM

An investigation of the major artistic trends in Western Europe during the 17th century. In Italy (excluding Rome, which is covered in a separate course), southern centers such as Sicily, Naples and Lecce will be examined, along with such major northern centers as Turin and Venice, and specific artists such as Guarini, Juvarra and Tiepolo. Major “national” schools of painting will be analyzed: the Dutch and Flemish, as embodied by Rembrandt and Rubens; the Spanish, with Velazquez; the French, with Poussin and Claude. Attention is also paid to architectural and sculptural monuments in each country.
European art and architecture of the 17thcentury was often monumental and extravagant, heroic but nostalgic, expansive while also self-reflective. Art commissions and collection no longer belonged solely to the wealthiest élites, especially with advances in printmaking techniques and increasing interest in smaller format easel painting. Regional interests and styles were transformed in this period of constant exchange. Themes that will be treated in readings and class discussion include the rise of absolutism; European global exploration and colonization; the formalization of art and architectural professions through academies; scientific investigation and the understanding of vision in this period; and gendered spaces of art, both in representation and for practitioners, with special focus upon women artists like Artemisia Gentileschi, Elisabetta Sirani, Clara Peeters, and Judith Leyster. A trip may be planned to see a special exhibit opening mid-October at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam on the works of Velázquez and Rembrandt.

Students will gain from this course:

•familiarity with a broad range of artists and art media in this period of European art.

•the methodological tools for interpreting painting and sculpture through contextual analysis, gained through reading a variety of art historical texts and in-depth discussion of individual works 

•research skills for examining works of art first-hand

•the ability to apply critical and theoretical perspectives in a coherent analysis of works of art and architecture. 

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the Seventeenth CenturySvetlana AlpersUniversity of Chicago Press9780719540639  
Painting in Spain: 1500-1700Jonathan BrownYale University Press9780300064742  
Seventeenth-Century Art & ArchitectureAnn Sutherland HarrisPearson/Prentice Hall9780136033721  
Baroque and Rococo: Art and CultureVernon Hyde MinorLaurence King9781856691734  
Art and Architecture in Italy, 1600-1750. 3 Vols.Rudolf WittkowerYale University Press9780300079999  

2 Reading Summaries and AnalysesSeveral of the assigned readings this semester will offer ways of thinking about visual representation drawn from critical theory and from contemporary challenges to traditional narratives. In the reading summaries, you will provide a close analysis of the text and apply the ideas contained within them to a work of art. The summaries should be a minimum of 2 typed, double-spaced pages and will be uploaded to Moodle for evaluation. 20%
Paper: Foreign Artists in Rome: Collection and ReceptionIn this paper, students will take advantage of the collections of French, Spanish, and Flemish Baroque art in Rome, examining one work in particular. The paper will provide a full formal analysis of the work and discuss how the work came into the collection in which it is displayed. The topic will involve some research; students will provide adequate bibliography and demonstrate an understanding of the provenance of artworks. 20%
Paper: Critical Issues in Baroque Art and ArchitectureStudents will select one of the themes discussed in class and in the readings and write a critical analysis of one or more works of art and architecture based upon that theme. The paper will be approximately 5-6 pages in length and will include substantial bibliography and appropriate use of illustrations. 20%
Midterm ExaminationStudents should be able to identify works of art and architecture by artist, title, and date, and should be prepared to discuss them at some length. The format of the exam includes: •Short answer questions regarding individual monuments: their appearance, construction, urban context and patronage. •Image comparisons: A discussion of two works in order to draw out key elements of affinity or difference, indicating an important theme in 17th-art and architecture. 15%
Final ExaminationThe format of the exam will be similar to the midterm, treating material from the second half of the semester, with the addition of final essay questions that will be cumulative in their scope.25%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course.
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments.
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings.
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant.

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed. 

While no grade is assessed for attendance and participation, both are required and will be recorded. 5 or more absences without an official excuse are considered insufficient presence for a passing grade and will be reported to the Dean’s office.
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.





Required Readings

Assignments & special instructions

Sept 3

Course Introduction: In and Out of Rome


Readings for each lecture should be completed before the lecture


•For background and review, read Vernon Hyde Minor, Baroque & Rococo: Art and Culture, Chapters 1 & 2. On library reserve



Sept 5

The Act of Picturing and the Beginning of the Baroque


•Rudolf Wittkower, Art and Architecture in Italy, 1600-1750, Vol. 1, Ch. 3.



Sept 10

The School of the Carracci and Caravaggisti on the Italian Peninsula


•Wittkower, Art and Architecture in Italy, Vol. 1, Ch. 4 “Caravaggio’s Followers and the Carracci School in Rome”


Sept 12

Artemisia Gentileschi and “Exceptional” Women Painters


•Mary Garrard, Artemisia Gentileschi: The Image of the Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art, Introduction and Ch. 5 “Judith”


•Jesse Locker, Artemisia Gentileschi: The Language of Painting, Ch. 5. “L’immagine dell’autrice” Artemisia’s Self-Portraits Revisited”




Sept 17

Imperial Representation and Architecture in Spain, 1590-1625


•Ann Sutherland Harris, 17th-Century Art and Architecture, Ch. 3 pp. 199-207.



Sept 19


Mysticism and Verism in Early Baroque Spanish Painting


•Jonathan Brown, Painting in Spain: 1500-1700, Ch. 5 “Naturalism in Castile and Valencia 1598-1621”


Sept 20



Research workshop and Palazzo Corsini visit

Preparation for paper on foreign artists in Rome: discussion of art historical sources



Sept 24


Rubens, Van Dyck and Aristocratic Self-Representation


•Ann Sutherland Harris, 17th-Century Art and Architecture, Ch. 2 “Flanders”



Sept 26


Flemish Painting and the Expansion of Art Collecting


•Continued from previous lecture


Oct 1

The Rise of Portraiture in Dutch Painting


•Ann Sutherland Harris, 17th-Century Art and Architecture, Ch. 5 to p. 373



Oct 3

Rembrandt and the Practice of Painting


•Continued from previous lecture



Oct 8

Architecture and Urban Space: Comparative Practices, 1600-1640


•Wittkower, Art and Architecture, Vol. 1, Ch. 6 and Vol. 2, Ch. 6, pp. 110-120 (on Venice, Florence and Naples)




Oct 10

Midterm review

•Go back through readings and come prepared with questions for discussion



oct 15

Midterm Exam




Oct 17

Spanish Art under Philip IV


•Jonathan Brown, Painting in Spain: 1500-1700, Ch. 7


Oct 22

Special Lecture: Velazquez’ Las Meninas


•See special handout with bibliography on this painting: choose 2 readings to discuss in class and for paper


Oct 24

Spanish and Italian Connections and Exchange (Ribera, Murillo)


•Jonathan Brown, Painting in Spain: 1500-1700, Ch. 9 “Jusepe de Ribera: A Spaniard in Italy”

Paper 1 Due: Upload to Moodle by 5:00 p.m.

Oct 29

Dutch Painting and Colonial Visions


•Ann Sutherland Harris, 17th-Century Art and Architecture, Ch. 5, pp. 373-399



Oct 31

Interior Spaces and the Act of Looking in Dutch Painting


•Martha Hollander, An Entrance for the Eyes, Ch. 3 “Nicolaes Maes: Space as Domestic Territory”


Nov 5

France: Building the Modern State



•Ann Sutherland Harris, 17th-Century Art and Architecture, Ch. 4, pp. 252-270


Nov 7

Versailles and Its Impact


•continued from last class


nov 12

Claude Lorrain and Poussin: Imaging a Golden Age


•Ann Sutherland Harris, 17th-Century Art and Architecture, Ch. 4, pp. 270-321


nov 14

Printmaking and Its Uses: Democratizing Art


•Arthur M. Hind, A History of Engraving and Etching, Ch. 5 and Ch. 6




nov 19

Printmaking and Its Uses: Politicizing Art


*Reading TBA


nov 21

Italianizing England


•Ann Sutherland Harris, 17th-Century Art and Architecture, Ch. 6, pp. 403-415



nov 26

Northern Italy: Torino and Venice


Wittkower, Art and Architecture in Italy, Vol. II, pp. 110-120; Vol. III, Ch. 3

Paper 2 Due: Upload to Moodle by 5:00 p.m.

nov 28

Thanksgiving – No class meeting




dec 3

Southern Italy: Naples, Lecce and Sicily


•continued from last week


dec 5

Review for Final Exam