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

Undergraduate Course: Francis Bacon and his Artistic Affinities (HIAR10086)

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 None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe course will address, within the framework of a chronological account of Bacon's work, such issues as:
* The overall development of Bacon's work, in relation to its imagery, creative processes, techniques, formats, and artistic language.
* The interactions and affinities that his work displays with a wide range of major twentieth-century artists, including Pablo Picasso, Graham Sutherland, Lucian Freud, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Fautrier, Chaim Soutine, Mark Rothko, Frank Auerbach, R B Kitaj, Andy Warhol etc.
* The impact on Bacon's art of work in other media, such as the films of Sergei Eisenstein, the poetry of T S Eliot, the literary/philosophical writings of Georges Bataille and Jean-Paul Sartre (opening up the wider topics of his responses to Surrealism and Existentialism).
* The distillation in Bacon's art of larger historical forces of the period (responses to World War 2, the Cold War, changing attitudes towards the body and homosexuality)
* The interrelationship between art and personal biography in the case of Bacon (including the role of his homosexuality).
* The role of many kinds of photography (and cinema) as creative stimuli for Bacon.
* His appropriations from the Old Masters (Grunewald, Velasquez, Degas)
* The varieties of interpretation that his work has generated, including his own (the famous interviews with David Sylvester); that of critic friends such as Sylvester, Robert Melville, and Michael Peppiatt; the process of historicising his work by academic art historians both before and especially after the artist's death in 1992; more philosophical commentary associated with writers such as Michel Leiris and Gilles Deleuze; and the interpretation implicit in the work of other artists inspired by Bacon's example, from David Hockney to Damien Hirst.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Architectural History 2A (ARHI08002) AND History of Art 2 (HIAR08012)
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
CentralSeminar1-11 14:00 - 15:50
First Class First class information not currently available
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Students will be expected to develop:
* A detailed knowledge and understanding of the art of Francis Bacon, in its broad art-historical and interpretative contexts
* A critical engagement with the variety of positions that critics have taken in relation to general and specific features of his work
* Through the prism provided by Bacon's work, they will also gain insight into wider aspects of the history and culture of the period from the 1930s to the 1980s, both in Britain and abroad
* An ability to analyse the distinctive visual language of Bacon's work, taking advantage of some important works in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland
* The capacity to demonstrate learning through seminar discussion, presentations, essays, and exams. Student accomplishment will be assessed in terms of the breadth and depth of their knowledge of particular works and texts as well as their level of engagement with the more theoretical aspects of the course
Assessment Information
1 x 2 hour examinaton (50%) and 1 x extended essay - 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 organiserMr Martin Hammer
Tel: (0131 6)50 4119
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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© Copyright 2011 The University of Edinburgh - 16 January 2012 6:12 am