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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Creative Arts

Undergraduate Course: The Art of Rembrandt and Vermeer (LLLA07159)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course explores in detail the work of the two most famous artists of 17th-century Holland, studying their creative processes as well as the cultural, religious and political context of the period. A visit to the National Gallery of Scotland will be included.
Course description The following list is indicative; weekly content may alter slightly from year to year, depending on current exhibitions etc.

1. The historical and cultural context of the new Dutch republic in the 17th century, and the origins of the modern "art world".
2. The young Rembrandt in Leiden and Amsterdam, 1625-40
3. Rembrandt's portraiture, compared to that of his contemporaries
4. The development of Rembrandt's religious vision
5. Rembrandt's final years, 1658-69
6. The early work of Vermeer, 1654-60
7. Visit to the National Gallery of Scotland to study relevant drawings, etchings and paintings
8. Vermeer and the Genre Picture
9. The Art of Describing and the Camera Obscura
10. Interpreting Vermeer

Rembrandt van Rijn and Jan Vermeer, contemporaries in the highly distinctive "art world" of 17th-century Holland, produced some of the greatest paintings of their time, yet their aims and creative processes were very different. As well as studying their careers in depth, the course will use their work, as well as that of some of their Dutch contemporaries, as a focus for understanding the cultural, religious and political context of the period. A visit to the National Gallery of Scotland will be included, to look at relevant drawings and etchings as well as paintings.

Students should display all the learning outcomes in the summative assessment. Student progress with learning outcomes will be assessed in the formative exercise (non-compulsory).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs 0
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate, through the summative assessment, an appreciation of the creative achievements of Rembrandt and Vermeer, and their innovative techniques.
  2. Demonstrate, through the summative assessment, an ability to interpret the meanings of key works in the context of broader cultural developments of the period.
  3. Demonstrate, through the summative assessment, an ability to analyse the formal qualities of 17th-century paintings using appropriate vocabulary.
Reading List
Clark, K., 1978. An Introduction to Rembrandt. London: J. Murray.
Wheelock, A., 1995. Vermeer and the Art of Painting. Newhaven CT: Yale University Press.
Schama, S., 1999. Rembrandt's Eyes. London: Allen Lane.
Schwartz, G., 2014. Rembrandt's Universe: His Art, His Life, His World. London: Thames and Hudson.
Alpers, S., 1983. The Art of Describing: Dutch Art in the 17th Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Gowing, L., 1952. Vermeer. London: Faber and Faber.
Steadman, P., 2002. Vermeer's Camera: Uncovering the Truth behind the Masterpieces. Oxford: Oxford Paperbacks.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Synthesis of a large body of material;
Handling of sources;
Analysis of sources;
Oral communication.
Special Arrangements N/A
Study Abroad N/A
Keywords17th-century art,Holland
Course organiserDr Sally Crumplin
Course secretaryMr Benjamin McNab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832
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