ELCS6061 - The Image in European Culture
Value: 0.5 course units
Tutor: Dr Chiara Franceschini
Assessment: 3 hour desk examination.
This module introduces students to the methods that cultural
historians and art historians have used to explain European visual art from c.
650 to c. 1650. It focuses above all on the ways in which the subject matter,
style and material attributes of objects conveyed meanings and messages to
contemporary viewers. In large part, that is, the module attempts to answer the
deceptively simple question: what was the purpose of visual art during this
millennium? Each class will address this question by considering a distinct
theme exemplified through case studies. Themes include: religion; society;
history; portraits; magic and science; symbols and allegories; and literature.
Preparatory Reading and Set Texts:
European works of art from the Medieval and Renaissance period, mainly, but not exclusively, chosen from the ones which are kept in the major London collections (the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum).
Initial Secondary Bibliography:
- Erwin Panofsky, “Iconography and Iconology: An Introduction to the Study of Renaissance Art” in Panofsky, E, Meaning in the Visual Arts: Papers in and on Art History, 26–54 (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1955)
- André Grabar, Christian iconography: a study of its origins (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968)
- Ernst H. Gombrich, “Aims and Limits of Iconology” in Gombrich, EH, Symbolic Images, pp. 1–25 (London: Phaidon, 1972)
- Charles Hope, “Artists, Patrons, and Advisers in the Italian Renaissance.” In Patronage in the Renaissance, Ed. by G. F. Lytle and S. Orgel, 293–343 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1981)
- Hans Belting, Likeness and presence : a history of the image before the era of art, trans. by Edmund Jephcott (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994)
- Roelof van Straten, An Introduction to Iconography, trans. by Patricia de Man. (Yverdon, Switzerland: Gordon and Breach, 1994).