HART2207 Caravaggio and the Baroque

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
Content
In Italian art of the seventeenth century, things are never quite as they seem. Caravaggio's highly naturalistic paintings merge biblical figures with local prostitutes and beggars; the sculptor Bernini turns hard marble into soft flesh and stillness into motion; Borromini's buildings appear to pulsate and envelope their visitors; and heaven and earth converge in vast ceiling paintings of palaces and churches. Besides such illusions, the Baroque revels in drama. Art no longer needs to be aesthetically pleasing - it can be ugly or horrific in its quest to provoke strong emotions. It is a period of innovation, producing the first feminist artist and the first global style. Yet it also is the first period fully aware of the history of art, bringing about changes in collecting and theorising art that reverberate into the nineteenth century. This unit examines Baroque art and architecture in the context of major historical developments, such as the Catholic Counter-Reformation and early colonialism. It also studies contemporary art theory through the prism of its arguable most iconic artist, the Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) demonstrate oral communication and interpersonal skills; (2) analyse formal and technical qualities of Mannerist and Baroque artworks; (3) place artworks in cultural and historical contexts of central and southern Europe in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and demonstrate an understanding of how artworks can mediate social or cultural meaning; (4) apply principles of argument in art historical discourse; and (5) apply research techniques in art historiography.
Assessment
Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) short essay; (2) long essay; and (3) oral assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Arvi Wattel
Unit rules
Prerequisites:
HART1000 Great Moments in Art (formerly VISA1000)
or
HART1001 Art, Technology and Society (formerly VISA1001)
or
HART1003 Ways of Seeing: Themes and Theories in Art
Incompatibility:
VISA2207 Art of the Counter-Reformation
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available at the University Co-operative Bookshop (from early January) and appropriate administrative offices for students to consult. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.