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Final Year Special Subjects

All modules are 45 credits for single honours students and 30 credits for joint honours students.
Taught in term 1 in Venice
HA3A2: Art in Venice and Northern Italy 1100-1600
The art and architecture of Venice provides immeasureable study opportunties in the light of its unique physical, political and cultural situation. The city's links with the Byzantine empire, its status as a maritime republic and its distinctive political situation fostered a culture different from those of other Italian cities and which can be studied as a discrete entity. You will study the relationship between art and its various contexts in detail using the physical evidence of the city and its past. The influence of Venice on art in the terraferma will also be examined through, for example, study trips to Padua, Verona, Vicenza and the villas of the Veneto.
HA3C7: Exhibiting the Contemporary
This module examines the importance of exhibitions for the interpretation of contemporary art and contemporary architecture. 'Exhibition' is here conceived as the (in principle public) time and space of 'showing' in the broadest sense. Taught through lectures, seminars and site visits, the module will involve the study of current exhibitions of contemporary art and architecture within and outside the frame of the Biennale, considered in conjunction with pertinent texts on contemporary exhibition-making, curating, and museum and exhibition history.
Taught in term 2 at Warwick
HA3B2: Deconstructing Medieval and Early Modern Buildings
Very few historic buildings have escaped alteration over the period in which they have been in use, changes to liturgy, and to society, have required that the buildings are adapted to accommodate these changes. By studying the fabric of the buildings, reading the evidence in the structure and combining this with documentary research it is possible to build up a picture of the whole history of individual monuments. This research-based module introduces you to the subject of buildings archaeology and gives you the chance to get involved in a current research project on a local building, so that they also gain practical experience. Aspects such as building materials, documentary research, antiquarian and topographical studies, stylistic analysis and comparative studies will be evaluated as sources of information and scientific methods of analysis such as dendrochronology examined.
HA3C4: East meets West: The Visual Arts in Colonial and Post Colonial India
This module will examine the visual culture of the Indian subcontinent during its (British) colonial and postcolonial periods (c.1757 to the present day). It will consider the ways in which colonial encounter, conquest and knowledge were experienced and articulated through the visual forms of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography and spectacle. As well as examining the deployment of different artistic media, subjects and genres within the subcontinent, the module will consider the development of patronage and artistic networks in the region, and evaluate the relative identities of British and Indian artists and craftsmen. We will also consider the means by which the longstanding, rich artistic traditions of India were accommodated or negotiated within British colonial discourse and artistic practice. The module will conclude by examining the impact of the rise of Indian nationalism on artistic production in the subcontinent, and by considering the status of contemporary Indian art within postcolonial and global contexts.
HA3C2: Colour and its Meaning
What meanings and effects does colour have in art? What makes colours expressive? What makes a colour ‘primary’, or two colours ‘complementary’? And what decides when a particular set of colours is harmonious? How does language affect the way people see colour? This module aims to address these and other questions in relation to a wide range of works of art from a variety of different cultures and periods: Mexican and Chinese art, C16th Venetian painting, Impressionism, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Matisse, Newman and Rothko, and paintings produced in the last few years by Gerhard Richter. It will also examine the claims made, and influence exerted, by a variety of scientific, philosophical, and psychological theories of colour and perception from Aristotle to Wittgenstein and neuroscience.
HA3C3: Mannerism
The broad aim of this module is to provide the opportunity for an in-depth examination of the concept of Mannerism and the many artworks (from painting to sculpture and architecture) relating to the movement. It will focus in particular on how the notion of Mannerism was created already in the second half of the sixteenth century, and how it has been developed by modern scholarship, with both positive and negative inflections. Topics covered may include the emergence of anti-classicism in early sixteenth-century Florence, the development of art forms suitable for new kinds of courts ceremonials, and the diffusion of a transnational style in Western Europe connoted as Mannerism. Artists like Rosso Fiorentino, Pontormo, Bronzino, Benvenuto Cellini and others may be studied and complex decorative schemes such as the one deployed in the Château de Fontainebleau.
HA3C6: Victorian Sculpture
Although it has been overlooked by historians, sculpture was at the heart of Victorian culture, playing a central role in the cultural politics of the period. This
module will offer a synoptic view of British sculpture from the beginning of Victoria’s reign to the Edwardian era, exploring a wide range of objects from busts and monuments to coins, medals and jewellery. Topics will include: the political use of sculpture at home and across the Empire; manufacture and the relationship between sculpture and industry; sculpture and the decorative arts; commemoration and national history; and the many spaces in which sculpture was displayed from the bourgeois parlour to the Great Exhibition of 1851. The module will involve a number of field trips to London to study sculptures at first hand, including at the exhibition Sculpture Victorious: Art in an Age of Invention, 1837-1901 at Tate Britain.