All modules are 15 credits and are taught in either term 1 or term 2
HA2B1: The Spaces of Seventeenth-Century Dutch Painting
This module aims to familiarise you with the new subjects, styles and genres of painting which emerged in the newly-independent Dutch Republic during the seventeenth century. Focusing on imagery of everyday life – chiefly genre scenes, townscapes and still life paintings – the module will look at how artists pictured the interior, exterior and colonial spaces in which a new Protestant, middle-class public emerged between c.1600 and 1680. We will look at how these paintings dealt with issues relating to representation and realism, national, civic and artistic identity, gender and sexuality, and commerce and colonialism. As well as examining the role of painting in forming the identities and ideologies which forged a Dutch middle-class society, you will also be asked to consider the impact which this process had on the form and status of painting itself. Artist studied may include Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch, Rembrandt Van Rijn, Frans Hals, Gerit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, Samuel van Hoogstraten and Pieter Saenredam.
HA2B8: Art in the Age of Revolution
The period spanning the last third of the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries was an “age of revolution” throughout Europe (and America). Political events such as the American Declaration of Independence in 1776, the French Revolution, heralded by Enlightened ideas and precipitated in 1789 by the fall of the Bastille, the accession to power of Napoleon Bonaparte, and the subsequent conflicts France and its European neighbours were involved in, heralded a sea change in all fields of human activity that would have a profound and lasting influence in Western European art and culture. This module aims to explore the roots and consequences of the Age of Revolution in the arts: the imagery of revolution and the use of art as political propaganda, focusing particularly on the work of J.L. David in France; the British reaction to the French Revolution, and the creation of a British artistic identity based on a series of oppositions and comparisons with the art of the Continent; and the development of new artistic languages closely related to contemporary ideas of nation, individualism and subjectivity in the work of European painters such as Goya in Spain and Caspar David Friedrich in Germany.
HA2D9: Danish Art in the Nineteenth Century
An overview of Danish art in the nineteenth century, introducing major artists and institutions, and providing you with an understanding of the specifically Danish forms of more general trends such as national landscape, genre painting and modernism. The first half of the module will concentrate on the so-called ‘Golden Age,’ examining painting by artists such as Eckersberg, Købke and Lundbye, and institutions such as the Danish Royal Academy and Thorvaldsens Museum. The second half will focus on what literary critic Georg Brandes called the Modern Breakthrough, and topics here will include the artists’ colony at Skagen, and the painting of Hammershøi. Throughout, the emphasis will be on the relationship between the national and international, given Denmark’s fraught and difficult history in the period. Artistic approaches to the representation of Danish nationhood through the indigenous, the cosmopolitan, and the foreign will be compared.
HA2A8: The Architecture of the Age of Chivalry
Gothic architecture and its development in England is the subject of this module, examining the origins of the style in France and then its reception in England. Major churches such as Canterbury, Salisbury, Wells and Lincoln will be studied as well as key French buildings such as Chartres and Reims cathedrals. Aspects such as the development of vaulting systems, involving the use of features like flying buttresses in France but not in England to any extent, and the role of stained glass in the churches will be explored.
HA2C5: A Fine Tomorrow
Ken Loach’s recent documentary film The spirit of ’45 evokes the optimism and idealism of the years following 1945. This module considers the impact of this extraordinary period on British art, architecture and design. Through examination of such events as the Festival of Britain (1951) and the competition for a Memorial to the Unknown Political Prisoner (1953-4), it will probe the diversity and vitality of British culture in the Cold War era, and survey the alternative versions of modernism represented by the work of Graham Sutherland, Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi, Richard Hamilton and their contemporaries. The module charts approaches to public art and the design of public space during the 1950s, new concepts of the house, the home and the city, the rise of consumer culture and the emergence of Pop art.
HA2D1: Spanish Painting of the Golden Age
The seventeenth century was a “Golden Age” in Spanish art and culture; a period during which the arts flourished, in stark contrast with the social and political circumstances surrounding the decline of Spain's world-wide empire. This module aims to explore the developments in Spanish painting, from the idiosyncratic mannerism of El Greco and the Counter-Reformistic values of painters such as Zurbarán, Murillo and Ribera, to the extraordinary heights reached by Velázquez, one of the greatest and most influential artists of all time.