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This course surveys painting and sculpture, plus some architecture and urbanism, of the Baroque era (ca. 1600 to 1750) in Italy and Spain. The course examines works of art in their social and cultural contexts and touches upon major themes of the historical period. These include the impact of religious reform on the visual arts; the notion of classicism as an aesthetic ideal; the intersection of art and science; and cultural exchange between Italian and Spanish places. Artistic centers such as Rome, Naples, Madrid, and Seville feature prominently, but the course will also consider artistic developments in cities such as Bologna, Valencia, and Mexico City. Along the way, we will study works by a range of artists including Annibale Carracci, Caravaggio, Gianlorenzo Bernini, Artemisia Gentileschi, Diego Velázquez, Peter Paul Rubens, Jusepe Ribera, and Cristóbal de Villalpando.
Note: This course counts for credit toward the Art History major and minor, and also for the minor in Catholic Studies offered by the Department of Religious Studies. In the Baroque era, Italy and Spain were overwhelmingly Catholic societies. Because much of the art and architecture produced in these places served the purpose of religious worship and devotion, the course will deal extensively with religion as a means of understanding and interpreting works of art.
Giovanni Lanfranco and Domenichino
Dome of Sant'Andrea della Valle