First Class Discussion points

This class is designed to cover a vast span of time, some of this will be done in course readings, other spans of time will be covered by you in your individual research projects and presentations.
The selection of readings is designed to introduce you to key issues of art historical discourse all focusing on a single issue. This issue is what is the meaning and purpose of mimesis (imitation) in pictorial (and some sculptural) representation. As this has been an issue that has occupied the minds of philosophers and art historians from Classical Greece to the present time, there is much to read, although we will, by no means, be reading it all.

Course Texts:

Richard Neer, The Emergence of the Classical Style in Greek Sculpture, University of Chicago Press: Chicago and London, 2010

Michael Baxandall, Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 1988 (2nd ed.)

Jill Beaulieu and Mary Roberts, eds., Orientalism's Interlocutors, Painting, Architecture, Photography, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2002


Books on Reserve:



Key Questions:

How do we explain/understand/give historical meaning to naturalistic representation in the visual arts?

What is the connection between how we see and naturalistic representations?

What is the historical significance of the concept of naturalistic representation to the history of art and to our understanding of the role of art in cultural practice both in the past and in the present day?
Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM