HART3276 Prints from Dürer to Toulouse-Lautrec

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Design and Creative Arts
  • Category A broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts students where relevant according to the broadening requirements for each student
  • Level 3 elective
The introduction of prints on paper around 1400 is often cited as a media revolution comparable only to our own, recent transition into the digital age. Invented in China several centuries earlier, printmaking profoundly changed Western visual culture as low-cost, multiple-image prints permeated everyday life from card playing to personal devotion. Such was the significance of prints in the transmission of artistic and political ideas that they soon required regulation in the form of copyright or censorship. Within the larger context of Europe's emerging colonial and missionary ambitions, prints also communicated between 'centre' and 'periphery', with images of Christian saints being printed as far afield as Mexico and China and visual records of foreign costumes and customs streaming back into Europe. This unit examines the production and reception of prints both as exclusive, high art and as popular, low art. Particular focus is paid to the implications of their status as multiples, their impact on the dissemination of knowledge, and their role as agents in cultural exchange.
Students are able to (1) distinguish between a variety of printmaking processes, their origins in China and Europe and international pathways along which technological developments travelled; (2) describe prints produced in Asia and Europe using appropriate specialist terminology; (3) actively participate in discussion and provoke debate; (4) integrate visual and aesthetic analyses of artworks into broader historical and theoretical arguments and identifying wider international trends, where appropriate; (5) formulate concise arguments based on a critical evaluation of appropriate secondary literature on the role of printmaking in shaping diverse cultural, aesthetic or political identities; and (6) demonstrate an understanding of the impact of printmaking on the global history of art.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) oral assessment; (2) research proposal; and (3) research essay. 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)
Dr Susanne Meurer
Unit rules
at least one Level 2 unit from the History of Art major sequence
VISA2276 The Art of Printmaking: a Cultural History, HART2276 Prints from Dürer to Toulouse-Lautrec
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 via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.