Summer School 2013
Week 4: 29 July-2 August 2013
Course 25: Dr Mellie Naydenova-Slade
The Gothic Image: Exploring the Medieval Imagination
The making of medieval art was typically a collaborative process, involving numerous craftsmen as well as patrons whose wishes were closely followed. As a result, medieval images often reflect the creative vision of more than one individual making them a particularly fascinating topic of study. Focusing on the Gothic period (c.1140-1500) this course will explore the imaginative universe which shaped Gothic art, offering an exciting opportunity to become familiar with images in a variety of media, including panel and wall painting, sculpture, stained glass, manuscript illumination, metalwork and textiles. Both religious and secular subjects will be covered, from familiar images representing well-known biblical stories, to art works which record tales of magic, combat, romance, and much more besides. In the first instance, the various types of images under consideration will be contextualised and elucidated, giving participants the necessary tools to understand and interpret medieval art. Building on that, we will question who was responsible for shaping the meaning of Gothic images, to what extent patrons left their own mark on the works of art they commissioned, and, perhaps most interestingly, how the imagination of the people for whom they were made is likely to have augmented their intended effect.
Course 26: Dr Janet Robson
A Tale of Two Cities: Florence, Siena and the Birth of Renaissance Art
Ever since Giorgio Vasari in the sixteenth century championed Cimabue and Giotto as the first great Italian artists, Florence has been proclaimed as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. But how accurate is this idea? Despite the fame of Giotto, his style was not the only one favoured in his native city, nor was painting in early Renaissance Italy completely dominated by Florentines. Sienese artists were just as successful, even winning major commissions from Florentine patrons. This course will reassess the relative contributions of Florence and Siena in the renewal of Italian painting between c.1280 and 1348. We will examine panel paintings and frescoes created by leading artists from the two rival cities, including the Florentines Cimabue, Giotto, Taddeo Gaddi and Bernardo Daddi, and the Sienese masters Duccio, Simone Martini, and Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti. Can their work usefully be characterized as ‘Florentine’ or ‘Sienese’? Or was the style of painting produced in the two cities determined by other factors, such as the function of the work, its patrons and viewers? The course will include visits to the National Gallery and The Courtauld Gallery.
Course 27: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott
Art and Print Culture in Renaissance Venice
Renaissance Venice was a global hub of visual and textual communication. This position was strengthened in the late fifteenth century with the establishment of printing houses there. Venice was to become the most significant centre for the production of printed images and texts in Europe for a century. The rise of the printing industry provided opportunities for artists and architects working in the city. This involved not just book illustration and print-making but personal friendships with writers and publishers, cheaper and more varied source material and ultimately a more powerful position vis-à-vis their clients in a growing art market. This course will focus on how artists and architects responded to this radically new order. How did the colour-based tradition of Venetian painters like Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and Veronese adapt to the modern, black-and-white age of mechanical reproduction? How did Palladio and others use printing to spread the language of classical architecture? In addition to lectures and seminars there will be more object-based classes during visits to The Courtauld Gallery Print Room, the National Gallery, the British Museum and the British Library.
Course 28: Dr Richard Williams
Van Dyck and Art at the Stuart Court
Anthony van Dyck revolutionised painting in England, transforming the stiff formality of Tudor portraits into dazzling works of art. This, together with patronage of other great artists of the age such as Rubens and Bernini, enabled James I and Charles I to establish the Stuart court as a centre for the arts of European importance. Artists glorified the Stuart kings in new ways, including court entertainments (‘masques’) that used revolving stages and trap doors to create breath-taking spectacles. Unrivalled art collections of the greatest works of Titian and other Renaissance masters were formed, which exerted their own influence on Van Dyck and his contemporaries. We will also consider what part Charles I’s love of the arts played in his downfall, and re-evaluate the fate of the arts under Oliver Cromwell. Recent research has shown that Cromwell’s regime continued to exploit painting and other art forms to further its cause, even adapting Van Dyck’s portraits of King Charles to promote its image at home and abroad. Visits will include the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Banqueting House in Whitehall where many of the masques were performed and where Rubens’ great painted ceiling survives in its original location.
Course 29: Dr Nancy Ireson
Avant-Garde Art in L ate 19th-Century Paris
Thanks to new types of exhibition, artists in late nineteenth-century Paris had a wide range of opportunities to present their work to the public. They were no longer obliged to satisfy the requirements of the Salon juries; from the Impressionist exhibitions of the 1870s, to the Salon des Indépendants (established in 1884), forums for avant-garde art proliferated. Different ways of working emerged, as did new styles and themes, reflecting or reacting to life in the ever-changing city. This course looks at well-known figures from the period, including Degas, Seurat, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec, and situates them in relation to some of the urgent issues of the time, including urbanisation, nationalism and colonialism. The course will prioritise close visual analysis, and the group will visit the National Gallery, the British Museum and The Courtauld Gallery to discuss works in detail.
Course 30: Dr Mehreen Chida-Razvi
Poetry, Mythology and Elite Life: Royal Persian Painting in the 14th to 19th Centuries
This course will explore the realms of Persian painting during the reigns of the Ilkhanids, Timurids, Safavids and Qajars. We will pay particular attention to iconic illustrated versions of the Persian national epic, the Shahnama, the mythical Iranian ‘Book of Kings’; the great illustrated history of the world created by Rashid al-Din, his Jami al-Tawarikh; the dynamic miniatures in the Kalila wa Dimna, a collection of animal fables, and the wonderful images in poetic manuscripts such as the Khamsa of Nizami. This period also saw the rise of individual artists and we will examine the works of great Persian masters, including Bihzad and Riza Abbasi. We will explore the increased production of single-page illustrations during this period, and the impact of external artistic styles and techniques on Persian painting, including the arrival of the Mongols to the region in the fourteenth century and the arrival of European arts and artistic technique in the seventeenth. We will further discuss the new trend of realistic representation occurring at this time, and the resultant impact on the creation of the distinctive Qajar style. As part of the course we will visit the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum and the British Library.
Course 31: Dr Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinski
From Pollock to Pop: American Art c. 1930-1972
This is a survey of major artistic developments in the United States from the first beginnings of Modernism to the early 1970s, when Modernist practice began to be questioned. The shift from medium-specific to medium-resistant practices (site-specific work, conceptual art) is a central concern. Throughout, we will consider artistic production in relation to larger patterns of historical and cultural change. We will explore the ‘Ashcan School’ and the seminal Armory Show; Precisionism in the context of the 1920s economic boom and of European avant-gardes; Regionalist painters and the impact of the Great Depression; and the development of Abstract Expressionism (and Pop Art’s reaction to it) in the context of Surrealism and the influence of Marcel Duchamp. We will look at figures like Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as at less readily defined artists like Louise Bourgeois and Joseph Cornell. Minimalist, post-minimalist and conceptual art will be studied in the context of the civil rights movement, feminism and gay rights. Works by Eva Hesse and Robert Morris and the architectural interventions by Gordon Matta-Clark will be examined in light of the political and economic questioning of the art establishment. Visits include Tate Modern and the British Museum’s Print room.
Course 32: Sara Knelman
Please note the change of lecturer. Due to unforeseeable circumstances Dr Benedict Burbridge has had to withdraw from the course. It will now be taught by photography curator and writer Sara Knelman.
Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, Afterlife, 2009,© The Artists This course will explore the place of photography in contemporary culture and, in particular, in contemporary art. Through a series of intensive lectures, discussions and gallery visits, we will examine the conditions that have led to photography’s increased status as a medium for artistic production and the themes and approaches that have defined recent art photography. The course will offer a critical look at the work of established contemporary artists, including Jeff Wall, Andreas Gursky, Cindy Sherman, Rineke Dijkstra and Nan Goldin, as well as notable emerging photographers. Situating the work in a variety of historical and theoretical contexts, we will address the position of art photography in relation to other photographic genres and applications, from the documentation of war to its uses in fashion and advertising. The course will also consider photography’s increasing prominence within the art museum, the ways in which digitization and globalization have affected the production and dissemination of photographic images, and photography and the art market.