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

Undergraduate Course: Cradle to Grave: Art and Society in Britain from Holbein to Hogarth (HIAR10143)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to key issues in the relationship between art and society in sixteenth-, seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain. Through close study of visual and material culture, it will explore how social identities were constructed and represented.
Course description This course explores the relationship between art and society in early modern Britain. It examines the representation of gender, the life-cycle, religion, status and nationality across a range of media, including painted portraiture, funerary monuments, satirical prints, furniture, jewellery and dress. Students will gain an understanding of how men and women defined their social relationships and fashioned their identities. Is there a female voice in early modern visual culture? Did the Reformation create a Protestant aesthetic? How did art serve to bridge the rift of separation following a death? How did shifting notions of nationhood impact upon modes of display? Through individual presentations, group work, class discussion and site visits to, for example, the Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the course probes issues relating to the function, meaning and experience of visual and material culture from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries; the role of display in the negotiation of social relations; and developments in the articulation of status and identity.

Course Topics:
1: Introduction: What is Visual Culture in Early Modern Britain?
2: Husband, Father, Lord: Constructing Masculinities
3: The Weaker Vessel? Picturing Women
4: Family Ties: Dynasty and Domesticity
5: A Question of Faith: Representing Religiosity
6: Material Culture and its Meanings
7: Models of Mourning: Visualising Death and Commemoration
8: Images of Rule: Position, Privilege and Power
9: Beer Street and Gin Lane: The Middling and the Lower Sorts
10: Uniting Britons: Depicting National Identity
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
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1 x 24 hour online examination paper (50%) and 1 x 2,500 word extended essay (50%)

Relationship between Assessment and Learning Outcomes:
The course assessment provides students with formal opportunities to learn and practice the knowledge and skills delivered through their directed and independent learning.
Feedback For this course there is one formative feedback event:

a. With reference to issues of female self-fashioning, write a 250-word visual analysis of Hans Eworth's portrait of Lady Dacre (1540).

Students will receive verbal feedback at a one-to-one meeting.

Formative Assessment does not count to your final grade/mark but is used to support your learning. Feedback on formative assessment is designed to help you learn more effectively by giving you feedback on your performance and on how it can be improved and/or maintained.

Feedback is given on all formative in-course assessment within 15 working days of submission, or in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course, whichever is sooner.

Feedback on your formative assessment will be given to you on or before Week 9.

Written summative feedback on student essays will also be provided, followed by a second one-to-one meeting. All students are offered a preparative exam workshop.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)24 hour online examination paper0:05
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. analyse critically a range of artefacts from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with relation to recent historiography on art and society in early modern Britain
  2. examine the effects of shifting social structures on artistic representation and reception
  3. assess the primary visual and material sources through which social identities were expressed
  4. demonstrate developed skills of visual enquiry, analysis and communication
Reading List
Coltman, Viccy, 'Party-Coloured Plaid? Portraits of Eighteenth-Century Scots in Tartan', Textile History (41:2, November 2010).
Cooper, Tarnya, Citizen Portrait: Portrait Painting and the Urban Elite of Tudor and Jacobean England and Wales (New Haven and London, 2012).
Crawford, Patricia, Blood, Bodies and Families in Early Modern England (Harlow, 2004).
Cressy, David, Birth, Marriage and Death: Ritual, Religion, and the Life Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England (Oxford, 1999).
Fisher, Will, Materializing Gender in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (Cambridge, 2010).
Fletcher, Anthony, Gender, Sex and Subordination in England 1500-1800 (New Haven and London, 1996).
Gent, Lucy and Llewellyn, Nigel (eds), Renaissance Bodies, The Human Figure in English Culture c.1540-1660 (London, 1995).
Hamling, Tara, Decorating the Godly Household: Religious Art in Post-Reformation Britain (New Haven and London, 2010).
Hearn, Karen, Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630 (London, 1995).
Howarth, David, Images of Rule: Art and Politics in the English Renaissance, 1485-1649 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1997).
Marciari Alexander, Julia, 'Painting a Life, The Case of Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland', Kevin Sharpe and Stephen N. Zwicker (eds), Writing Lives: Biography and Textuality, Identity and Representation in Early Modern England (Oxford, 2012).
Pointon, Marcia, Hanging the Head: Portraiture and Social Formation in Eighteenth-century England (New Haven and London, 1993).
Sherlock, Peter, Monuments and Memory in Early Modern England (Aldershot and Burlington, 2008).
Retford, Kate, The Art of Domestic Life, Family Portraiture in Eighteenth Century England (New Haven and London, 2006).
Vincent, S. 'To Fashion a Self: Dressing in Seventeenth-Century England,' Fashion Theory (Vol. 3, Issue 2, 1999).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis, independent research, presentation and communication skills, group work, organisation and planning
Keywordsearly modern,society,visual culture,material culture,self-fashioning,identity
Course organiserDr Catriona Murray
Tel: (0131 6)51 5940
Course secretaryMrs Sue Cavanagh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1460
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