Courses of Study 2018-2019 
    Mar 20, 2023  
Courses of Study 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ARTH 4603 - [Perplexing Pictures: Puzzles & Problems in Early Modern Art]

(crosslisted) VISST 4603  
(HB) (CA-AS)      
Next Offered: 2020-2021. 4 credits. Student option grading.

Co-meets with ARTH 6603 .

L. Pincus.

This seminar studies a group of early-modern images (ca. 1400-1750) deemed “meaningless” or “impossible”-resistant to the usual methods of art historical interpretation and consequently cited as insoluble irritations to the discipline. We will examine particular images by Vermeer, Velázquez, Leonardo, Giorgione, among others, as meta-pictorial art, in other words, art that reflects upon its own making and the nature of representation. In the process, we’ll reevaluate fundamentals of art-historical discourse-the problems of the unitary subject and subjectivity, detection and picture-as-puzzle, ambiguity as modality, and realism as a problematic. In our search for the location of meaning in the visual arts we’ll attempt theoretically open-ended strategies, among them art as experiment, paintings without subject, materiality and self-reflexivity. Our authors will include Elkins, Aristotle, Derrida, Panofsky, Stoichita, Berger, Ginzburg, and Steinberg among others.

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