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The Aesthetic Legacy of Venice, 1700 - the present

Module Description

This module will examine the various interpretations of Venice and its art and architecture by artists, writers, collectors and film-makers from the eighteenth century to the present day. It is concerned to show how both the landscapes and art forms of Venice were visualised and conceptualised in Britain and the USA. Students will look at the appropriation of the city’s visual heritage by artists and architects, as well as examining the collecting and display of Venetian art. Attention will also be paid to textual responses to Venetian art and architecture by writers such as John Ruskin and Walter Pater. Over the course of the module students will examine a broad range of visual and written sources, including travel journals, aesthetic treatises, paintings, prints, photographs, films, country houses, museums and even Las Vegas casinos. The module is arranged in a broadly chronological manner to allow students to understand how responses to Venice have become increasingly aesthetic and imaginative in nature after the fall of the Republic in 1797.

Sample Syllabus (subject to change)
Canaletto and the Grand Tour
Turner and the Romantics in Venice
Ruskin's Venice
Venice and Aestheticism
Tourist and Anti-Tourist Venice: Whistler, James and Sargent
Staging Modern Art: the origins and development of the Biennale di Venezia
Venice in Film
Appropriations of Venetian Architecture from Palladianism to Postmodernism