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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : History of Art

Undergraduate Course: Expanding Vision: Visual Culture in France from the Limbourgs to Leonardo (HIAR10014)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaHistory of Art Other subject areaNone
Course website Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course considers the most significant painters and patrons active in France from the time of the Limbourg brothers (d.1416) until the period spent by Leonardo da Vinci in France between 1516 and 1519. While attention is paid to examining general problems in the attribution and dating of works of art, as well as to the development of style and influences from abroad, the emphasis of the course is on exploring ways in which general practices of looking were shaped by a range of new cultural experiences involving vision. Among topics addressed in the course are: the relevance of optical aids, such as spectacles and mirrors; changing attitudes to the natural world and to beauty; the development of viewing habits associated with architecture, especially windows; ways in which sculpture and other works of material culture changed conceptions of the use of space; and broadening uses of images across the social spectrum. The role of France in the broader development of visual culture in late medieval and Renaissance Europe is one of the major issues that the course seeks to define. The course is structured by examining in chronological sequence a series of key works of art, beginning with illuminated books of hours associated with the duke of Berry and ending with tapestries, stained glass and printed books designed by artists active in Paris during the later fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. Important personalities in the development of French culture during this period, such as Christine de Pisan, Joan of Arc, Ren'eacute; of Anjou, Jean Fouquet and Anne of Brittany will be investigated. Since relatively few large-scale paintings survive from this period from France, manuscript illumination is a prominent feature of the course. Study will make extensive use of both modern facsimiles of important books of the period and also original manuscripts in Edinburgh collections.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2 (HIAR08008) OR ( Architectural History 2A (ARHI08002) AND Architectural History 2B (ARHI08003))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  20
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
CentralTutorial1-11 11:10 - 13:00
First Class First class information not currently available
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours:Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Expanding Vision: Visual Culture in France from the Limbourgs to Leonardo2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
The tutorials enable students to develop skills of visual analysis and interpretation in terms of the historical context of France in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. While developing a critical overview of the literature in preparing for presentations and essays, students will learn the strengths and deficiencies of the arguments, views and methodologies of those art historians who have worked on this material. They will quickly learn to engage with approaches that have helped to shed light on problems concerning issues such as attribution, dating and patronage, refining their own opinions by testing published theories with their own experience of the visual and documentary evidence. The demonstrable inadequacies of much of the literature should foster a healthy scepticism of the work of many 'authorities' in this field. More importantly, the fact that no cultural historian has yet attempted either a systematic historical survey of visual culture in France during this period, or any systematic attempt to elicit its primary themes, will be used as encouragement to students to cultivate their own originality and imagination, stimulating intellectual independence and initiating new lines of investigation. Students will be persuaded to understand the visual material they study not only in the context of France in the later Middle Ages, but also as contributing to the broader history of Western art and practices of looking. In order to make progress with this, students will learn to present arguments clearly and concisely, mastering the material within limited time-frames. They will also acquire a keen sense of the value of primary documentation and contemporary texts that address the visual arts. More specifically, students will gain knowledge of the techniques of works of art, especially illuminated manuscripts, and the issues faced by their practitioners, from matters concerning patronage to problems of composition and perspective.
Assessment Information
1 two-hour examination paper (50%) and 1 extended essay of 2,500 words(50%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Tom Tolley
Tel: (0131 6)50 4115
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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