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

Undergraduate Course: Golden Age Spain: Art, Politics and Religion (HIAR10124)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAs an introduction to the most fertile period in Spanish art and culture, this course will focus on the interplay between visual culture and the political and religious conditions that prevailed in late sixteenth and seventeenth-century Spain. It will look at a broad spectrum of the visual arts, including painting, polychrome sculpture, liturgical artefacts, prints and drawings, and the built environment. The powerful influence of patrons will be a particular focus with close analysis of art within the specific devotional and ritual contexts of Spanish Catholicism and the broadest political concerns of the Spanish monarchy. Religious art and artefacts were made to stimulate devotion, wonder and identification; forms and meanings were inextricably linked to the beliefs and religious practices of the individuals or the constituencies for whom it was made. We will consider recent claims that the rediscovery of the role of the imagination in the exercise of faith led to the development of ingenious artistic solutions to the depiction of visionary experiences, to the representation of the unrepresentable and to making the sacred real (e.g. the expressive sculptures by Martínez Montañés, Gregorio Fernández, Pedro de Mena and others). Case studies will also include the works by El Greco and Zurbarán, that resulted in a meditative and didactic visual language. Although the focus is on Spain, one seminar will look at the complex processes by which Spanish religious art was exported, adapted and translated into new cultural contexts in Spain¿s vice-regal territories in South America. Shifting the focus to the court of Madrid, an analysis of textual and visual material will contribute to an understanding of how artistic creativity ¿ poetry, theatre, music and the visual arts¿was often manipulated to serve specific political ends. At the same time the calculated projection of political ideals could also be accompanied by artistic expression of surprising unconventionality. The subject of patronage and the artist¿s status at court will be discussed in a seminar dedicated to Velázquez¿s chef d¿oeuvre Las Meninas. This painting in particular will stimulate critical discussion on different methodological approaches to Velázquez¿ art.
Course description Introduction

Orthodoxy und creativity at El Escorial and in Toledo

Faith and imagination ¿ Zurbarán¿s visionary paintings at the royal monastery of Sta. Maria de Guadalupe

Like a Virgin¿ ¿ the Immaculate Conception (session at the National Gallery of Scotland)

The sacred made real ¿ hyperrealism in sculpture

Exporting sacred images to the new world of vice-regal Spain

Velázquez: artistic freedom and constraints

Art and propaganda: Philip IV, Olivares, Velázquez and the Retiro Palace

Velázquez¿ Las Meninas

Vanity, death and salvation. Painting and sculpture at the Hospital de la Caridad in Seville
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2 (HIAR08012) OR Architectural History 2a: Order & the City (ARHI08006) AND Architectural History 2b: Culture & the City (ARHI08007)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have completed at least 3 History of Art courses at grade B or above, and we will only consider University/College level courses. **Please note that 3rd year History of Art courses are high-demand, meaning that they have a very high number of students wishing to enrol in a very limited number of spaces. These enrolments are managed strictly by the Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department, and all enquiries to enrol in these courses must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  23
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Formative Assessment Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 24, Revision Session Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 2000 word Essay 50%, 24 hour online Examination 50%
Feedback Formative Assessment: Students submit a short essay mid-way through the semester. Students will be given written feedback on this within 15 days of the hand-in date. Students are expected to reflect on the given feedback and submit a paragraph with a list of intended action points.

Students will give one short presentation in the semester. They will be given verbal feedback on this in a short meeting following the seminar.

Essay Feedback: Students submit a 2,000-word essay towards the end of the semester. They will be given written feedback on this within 15 days of the hand-in date.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)24 hour online examination0:05
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. On successful completion of the course, students will be able to 1. explain the meaning, function and use of religious and secular art in 16th and 17th ¿ century Spain;
  2. describe the interactions between Spanish patrons and artists;
  3. identify and analyse specific iconographies in relation to religious doctrine and political ideals of the period;
  4. demonstrate a critical awareness of scholarship on Spanish art;
  5. communicate (verbally and in written form) the issues surrounding the relationship between art, religion and politics in Golden Age Spain
Reading List
Select bibliography:
ALPERS, S., ¿Interpretation without Representation, or the Viewing of Las Meninas¿, Representations 1, no 1 (Feb 1983), pp.31-42
ALVAREZ LOPERA, J. (ed.), El Greco: identity and transformation : Crete, Italy, Spain (Milan: Skira, 1999)
BROWN, Jonathan, Images and Ideas in Seventeenth Century Spanish Painting (Princeton: University Press, 1978)
Velázquez. Courtier and Painter (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1986)
The Golden Age of Painting in Spain (New Haven and London, Yale University Press. 1991)
Italy and Spain 1600-1750, Sources and Documents (Princeton, University Press, 1970)
BRAY, X., The Sacred Made Real. Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700 (London: National Gallery, London, 2009)
BROWN, J., and ELLIOTT, J.H., A Palace for a King (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1980)
CHERRY, Peter and JORDAN, William, Spanish Still Life from Velázquez to Goya (London, National Gallery, 1995)
CLARKE, M. (ed.), Velázquez in Seville, exhibition catalogue (Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland, 1996)
ELLIOTT, J.H., Spain and its World 1500-1700 (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1998)
FOUCAULT, Michel, ¿Las Meninas¿, in The Order of Things (London, Routledge, 1974)
KAMEN, Henry, Inquisition and Society in Spain in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, (Blommington, Indiana University Press, 1991
KASL, Ronda (ed.), Sacred Spain. Art and Belief in the Spanish World (New Haven and Londo: Yale University Press, 2009)
LYNCH, John, The Hispanic World in Crisis and Change (Oxford, Blackwell, 1992)
MANN, Richard G., El Greco and his patrons (Cambridge and New York, Cambridge University Press, 1986)
MULCAHY, Rosemarie, The Decoration of the Royal Basilica of the Escorial (Cambridge and New York, Cambridge University Press, 1994)
STOICHITA, V., Visionary Experience in the Golden Age of Spanish Art (London: Reaktion, 1997)
STRATTON, Suzanne, The Immaculate Conception in Spanish Art (Cambridge University Press, 1994)
TOMLINSON, Janis, From El Greco to Goya (London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Advanced visual skills, communication skills (written and oral), research skills, analytical and interpretative skills, logical thought processes, ability to assess and evaluate sources, study independently and to deadlines
KeywordsSpanish art and culture of the late 16th and 17th century,art and power,politics,Catholicism,Cou
Course organiserMs Madeleine Haddon
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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