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

Undergraduate Course: Rubens and His World (HIAR10016)

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 descriptionRubens has been described as the most cultivated man in Europe during the seventeenth century. This course will aim to place his life and work in the broad context of art and culture in the courts of Europe in the period c.1600-1640.

The first part will examine the brilliant achievements of Rubens in Rome during the first decade of the century when his work is set alongside the rise of Baroque art.

Thereafter the focus shifts to Antwerp and how Rubens defined the Counter-Reformation altarpiece for a newly invigorated Catholic Church. This will provide an opportunity to consider the dialogue which existed between the painter and his humanist friends who constituted his patrons.

Then the focus shifts to England and his work for the early Stuarts, culminating in the nine paintings he executed for the Banqueting House at Whitehall. These will be examined in relation to the Jesuit Ceiling which Rubens painted in Antwerp in 1620.

Mid-way through the course we shall look at his versatility as an artist in relation to his interests in: architecture, tapestry design, book production and the world of classical learning and the antique. Finally a study will be made of his on-going relationship with the Habsburg court in Madrid, culminating in the mythological paintings executed for Philip IV. His relationship with the Spanish king will be considered with regard to his role as an international diplomat. A consideration of Rubens in Madrid will also allow us to look at the early work of Velazquez. In addition to the career of Rubens himself, the most successful of any artist working in the classical tradition, attention will be paid during the course, to Titian and Van Dyck. Here the purpose will be to consider what Titian meant to Rubens, and with regard to Van Dyck, how this painter, the most talented of the pupils of Rubens, responded to his master.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2 (HIAR08012) OR ( Architectural History 2A (ARHI08002) AND Architectural History 2B (ARHI08003))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History of Art courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2011/12 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) WebCT enabled:  Yes Quota:  22
Location Activity Description Weeks Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
CentralSeminar1-11 11:10 - 13:00
First Class Week 18, Thursday, 11:10 - 13:00, Zone: Central. Geddes Room, Minto House
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
The intention is that students taking Rubens will gain a thorough knowledge of the life, work and impact of the most successful painter of the first half of the seventeenth century. Besides gaining a good grasp of the most important paintings of Rubens, and the chronology of the artist's life, they will have acquired an understanding of significant aspects of cultural life in early modern Europe. In addition through active participation in seminars (via presentations) they will have gained in confidence and be able to participate fully in group discussions; a flexible skill which can be applied hereafter in other contexts besides academic art history. I expect too that as a result of classes in front of pictures in public galleries, participants will be able to recognise the techniques of the artist and feel qualified to speak in a public forum.
Assessment Information
1 two hour examination paper (50%) and 1 extended essay (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 David Howarth
Tel: (0131 6)50 4111
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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© Copyright 2011 The University of Edinburgh - 16 January 2012 6:11 am