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COURSE NAME: "World Art III: Visual Culture of the Early Modern World"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2023

INSTRUCTOR: Anna Tuck-Scala
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: TH 1:30 PM 4:15 PM

This survey course focuses on the art and architecture of Europe, South and Southeast Asia, China, Japan, West Africa, and the Americas from the 1400s to c. 1750. The course investigates a range of media including painting, woodcuts, sculpture, and architecture, while considering materials and methods of production. Special attention will be given to the socio-economic and political contexts in which these artifacts were commissioned and produced. The course will also assist students in cultivating basic art-historical skills.

From World Heritage sites (eg Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal) to portable objects (eg Chinese porcelain, Persian carpets and Northern European prints), students will learn about  how creative works can tell us important and insightful stories about different cultures of the Early Modern era. In this period, economic, political, scientific and religious interests propelled travel around the globe on an unprecedented scale. European exploration and colonial expansion  led to dramatic cultural encounters and upheavals, which were frequently violent. Intercultural contact and the exchange of ideas also took place through far-reaching trade and the widespread dissemination of prints. As a result, local artistic productions were transformed and provide information about how the world became more interconnected and complex.

The course will use online scholarly resources available on Smarthistory.org. (co-founded by Drs. Beth Harris and Steven Zucker), such as videos and essays written by specialists with a global perspective. Importance will be given to close looking at objects, buildings and sites (some of which we will view in Rome).  Focus on primary sources through the lens of indigenous peoples will make evident the varied ways people have made, used and understood art.

During the course, students are encouraged to ask questions, explore together material that is new to them, expand their horizons of knowledge, and deepen topics of personal interest. 






Knowledge about the main characteristics of cultural artifacts from around the world in the Early Modern period.

An appreciation for the value of art in our lives and society and how art makes visible ideas.

The ability to describe and analyze works of art using skills from art history.

An understanding of the historical changes, colonization, power plays and cultural entanglements that occurred during the age of exploration and the birth of our modern, interconnected and globalized world.

Development of empathy by engaging with art from different cultures across the globe.

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberCommentsFormatLocal BookstoreOnline Purchase
Reframing Art History (online resources)edited by Lauren Kilroy-EwbankSmarthistory.org 2022-nowN/A Available on lineEbook  
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
OrientalismEdward SaidVintage Books Edition 1979XXXXDS12.S24 1979 
Japanese Art in Perspective: East-West EncountersTakashina ShujiJPIC, 2021XXXXNX584.A1 T33 J37 2021 
A New History of Italian Renaissance ArtStephen Campbell and Michael W. ColeThames and Hudson, 2017XXXXN6915.C283 2017 
The Art and Architecture of Islam 1250-1800Sheila Blair, Jonathon Bloom, and Richard EttinghausenYale University Press, 1996XXXXN6260.B56 
The Royal Arts of Africa: The Majesty of FormSuzanne Preston BlierH. N. Abrams, 1998XXXXN7391.65.B58 1998 
History of Japanese ArtPenelope MasonPearson-Prentice Hall, 1993XXXXN7350.M26 1993 
Seventeenth-century Art and ArchitectureAnn Sutherland HarrisPrentice Hall, 2008XXXXN6756.H33 
The Arts of China, 5th editionMichael SullivanUniversity of California Press, 2008XXXXN7340.S92 
The Art of Allegiance: Visual Culture and Imperial Power in Baroque New SpainMichael SchrefflerPennsylvania State University Press, 2007XXXXND1460.P69 S37 2007 
Bazaar to Piazza: Islamic Trade and Italian Art, 1300-1600Rosamund E. MackUniversity of California, Berkeley, Press, 2002XXXXNk959.M267 
Art on the Jesuit Missions in Asia and Latin America, 1542-1773Gauvin Alexander BaileyUniversity of Toronto Press, 1999XXXXN7972.B35 1999 
Art of the Andes: From Chavin to IncaRebecca Stone-MillerThames and Hudson, 1996XXXXF2230.1.A7 S77 1996 
The Art of Mesoamerica from Olmec to AztecMary Ellen MillerThames and Hudson, 1986XXXXF1219.3.A7 M55 1986 
Chinese Architecture: A HistoryNancy Shatzman SteinhardtPrinceton University Press, 2019XXXX Ebook
Mediating Netherlandish Art and Material Culture in AsiaThomas Da Costa Kaufmann and Michael North, eds.Amsterdam University Press, 2014XXXX Ebook
Northern Renaissance ArtSusie NashCambridge University Press, 2008XXXX Ebook
The Renaissance Bazaar: From the Silk Road to MichelangeloJerry BrottonOxford University Press, 2002XXXX Ebook
Engraving the Savage: The New World and Techniques of CivilizationMichael GaudioUniversity of Minnesota Press, 2008XXXX Ebook
American Baroque: Pearls and the Nature of Empire, 1492-1700Molly WarshUniversity of North Carolina Press, 2018XXXX Ebook
Art and Architecture of Viceregal Latin America, 1521-1821Kelly Donahue-WallaceUniversity of New Mexico Press, 2008XXXX Ebook
China and Maritime Europe, 1500-1800: Trade, Settlement, Diplomacy and MissionsJohn E. Williams, Jr., ed.Cambridge University Press, 2011XXXX Ebook
A World Art History and its ObjectsDavid CarrierPenn State Press, 2008XXXX Ebook
Ways of SeeingJohn BergerPenguin Books, 1973XXXXN7430.5.W39 

Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
The Aztec WorldBaquedano, Elizabeth and Gary M. Feinman, ed. Abrams in association with the Field Museum, 2008XXXX  
Northern Renaissance Art: 1400-1600. Sources and DocumentsWolfgang StechowNorthwestern University Press, 1989XXXX  
Images of Other CulturesKen Yoshida and Jack Mack (eds.)National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka 1997XXXX  
Ethnos: Vatican Museums Ethnological CollectionNicola Mapelli, Katherine Aigner, Nadia FiusselloEdizioni Musei Vaticani, 2012XXXX  
Empire of Great Brightness: Visual and Material Culture of Ming China, 1368-1644Craig ClunasUniversity of Hawai'i Press, 2007XXXX  
The Global Lives of Things: The Material Culture of Connections in the Early Modern WorldAnne Gerritsen and Giorgio Riello eds.Routledge, 2015XXXX  
Baroque New Worlds: Representation, Transculturation,CounterconquestLois Parkinson Zamora and Monika Kaup, eds.Duke University Press, 2010XXXX  
Ancient Chinese Trade CeramicsKrahl and J. Harrison-HallRoc, 1994XXXX  
A Vision Betrayed: The Jesuits in Japan and China, 1542-1742Andrew C. RossOrbic Books, 1994XXXX  
From Flanders to Florence: The Impact of Netherlandish Painting, 1400-1500Paula NuttallYale University Press, 2004XXXX  
A Cultural History of the Ottomans: The Imperial Elite and Its ArtefactsSuraiya FaroghiI. B. Tauris, 2016XXXX  
Global Interests: Renaissance Art between East and WestLisa Jardine and Jerry BrottonReaktion, 2000XXXX  
The Print Before Photography: An Introduction to European Printmaking, 1550-1820Anthony GriffithsThe British Museum, 2016XXXX  
India: Art and Culture 1300-1900Stuart Cary WelchMetropolitan Museum of Art, 1985XXXX  
What is Islamic Art? Between Religion and Perception.Wendy M. K. ShawCambridge University Press, 2019XXXX  
Reading Zen in the Rocks, the Japanese Dry Landscape GardenFrancois Berthier and Graham ParkesUniversity of Chicago Press, 2000XXXX  
History of Art in JapanNobuo TsujiUniversity of Tokyo Press, 2019XXXX  
The Aztecs, 3rd ed.Richard TownsendThames and Hudson, 2009XXXX  
A Culture of Stone: Inka Perspectives on RockCarolyn DeanDuke University Press, 2010XXXX  
Machu Picchu: Unveiling the Mystery of the IncasRichard L. Burger and Lucy C. SalazarYale University Press, 2004XXXX  
To Weave for the Sun: Ancient Andean TextilesRebecca Stone-MillerThames and Hudson, 1992XXXX  
Converging Cultures: Art and Identity in Spanish AmericaDiana Fane, ed.Harry N. Abrams, 1996XXXX  
The Art of BeninPaula Girschick Ben-AmosThe British Museum Press, 1995XXXX  
Global Objects: Toward a Connected Art HistoryEdward S. Cooke, Jr.Princeton University Press, 2022XXXX  
Visual diary (weekly submission)Students will write one page reflections on the topic of each week.30%
PowerPoint presentation on art in a part of the world not covered in the courseA 15 minute Powerpoint presentation will be given in class. Topics must be approved by instructor.30%
Midterm and final exams The exams are open book. Essays will be written based on lectures, readings,videos and discussions. The questions are general and involve visual analysis and the comparison of works of art from different cultures around the world.15% + 15%
Class participationPunctual class attendance is mandatory. Absences are excused only with documented illness or emergency. Timely submission of assignments is expected. Late work will be accepted only with a documented excuse. Class discussion and improvement will be evaluated. 10%

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. The final exam period runs until ____________
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.


SessionSession FocusReading AssignmentOther AssignmentMeeting Place/Exam Dates
Thursday, Sept 7 (Classroom G.K.1.2)Introduction to course. What is art and art history? How to approach world art?"Introduction: Learning to look and think critically" by Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank"What is art history and where is it going?" by Robert Glass, "Introduction to art historical analysis" by Robert Glass 
Thursday, Sept 14Art History skills: How to do visual (formal) analysis. How to identify iconography. What is iconology?"Introduction: Close looking and approaches to art" by Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank"An introduction to iconography and iconographic analysis" by Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank View and analyze Pietro Cavallini's mosaics in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere in terms of Byzantine and Eastern influence 
***Friday, Sept 15 (Make-up day for Nov 23 holiday)Walking tour of art and architecture of the Early Modern era in Rome (Trastevere) Focus on Bramante's Tempietto and patronage of the Spanish Monarchy 
Thursday, Sept 21The Mexica and the makings of empire: c. 1325-1550 (focus on Post-Classic period and Aztecs (Mexica)"Mesoamerica and the Caribbean, 900-16th century" by Caitlin Earley and Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank (focus on Mexica/Aztecs)"Mesoamerica, an introduction", "Introduction to the Aztecs (Mexica)", "The Templo Mayor and the Coyolxauhqui Stone", "Coatlicue" by Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank 
Thursday, Sept 28The Inka and their imperial reach, c. 1438-1532"Late South America (c. 800 C.E.-16th century C.E." by Sarahh Scher (focus on Inka)"The Inka, an introduction", "City of Cusco", "Machu Picchu", "All-T'oqapu Tunic" by Sarahh Scher Recommended reading: "The Inka khipu: an introduction" by Kylie E. Quave 
Thursday, Oct 5The Renaissances of 15th century Europe"Portuguese contacts and exchanges, c. 1400-1800" by Rachel Zimmerman; "Art in the Italian Renaissance Republics, c. 1400-1600" by Heather GrahamConfirm presentation topics on art in parts of the world not covered in class. Recommended sites to see in Florence on your own given in class. 
Thursday, Oct 12The legacy of Europe in the 16th century"Art in Sovereign States of the Italian Renaissance, c. 1400-1600" by Heather Graham; "Printing and painting in Northern Renaissance art" by Bonnie NobleRecommended Renaissance monuments to see in Rome given in class. 
Thursday, Oct 19  Visit Museo delle Civiltà (Museum of Civilizations)---currently closed for reorganization. Why?Midterm exam
Thursday, Oct 26 Renaissances of the Islamic World: the art of the Safavids and the Mughal Empire in the 16th and 17th century"Framing Islamic Art" by Radha Dalal; "Arts of the Islamic World" and "About chronological periods in the Islamic World" by Elizabeth Macaulay (focus on late period); "Introduction to mosque architecture" by Kendra Weisbin; view "The Court of Gayumars" videos; "The Taj Mahal" by Roshna KapadiaSTUDENT PRESENTATIONS BEGIN Suggested reading: essays on Islam 
Thursday, Nov 2The Ming Dynasty (China) 15th-17th century"Art in Ming dynasty China" by Kristen Loring Brennan"Ming dynasty (1368-1644), an introduction" and "Shakyamuni, Laozi, and Confucius" by National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution"; "Chinese scholar-painters, an introduction" by The British Museum; "Shen Zhou, A Spring Gathering" and "Canteen" by National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution 
Thursday, Nov 9The Muromachi period (Japan), 15th-17th century"The four seasons in the arts of Japan" by Sonia Coman"Ryoanji (Peaceful Dragon Temple)" by Yoonjung Seo. Visit the Japanese Garden in the Orto Botanico. Write about how it relates to Chinese and Japanese attittudes toward nature and art. How is it different from a Zen garden? 
Thursday, Nov 16Empires and transculturalism in western and eastern Africa, 15th-17th centuries (focus on Benin art)"Historical overview to 1600 and from the 1600s to the present" by Christa Clarke, "African art and the effects of European contact and civilization" by Peri Klemm, "Benin art: patrons, artists and current controversies" by Kathryn Wysocki Gunsch  
***Thursday, Nov 23 NO CLASS/HOLIDAY Recommended reading: ch. 9 "Europe invades the Americas"Recommended: Read about "Virgin of Guadalupe" by Lauren Kilroy-Ewbank and visit Church of San Ildefonso e Santo Tomas de Villanueva, which houses the first image of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Rome 
Thursday, Nov 30What is Unesco? Guest speaker from Unesco will give a lecture in classroom"What is cultural heritage?" by Elena Franchi; "Cultural heritage 'in crisis'" by Stephanie Mulder and Debora Trein  
Thursday, Dec 7Collecting World art: Vatican Museums Ethnological Collection"How museums shape meaning" by Allen Farber; "Art Museums and (Art) Objects" by Elizabeth RodiniVisit Vatican Museums