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

Undergraduate Course: Picturing Authority: Art and Politics at the Tudor and Stuart Courts (HIAR10134)

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
SummaryThis course introduces students to key issues in the relationship between art and politics in sixteenth and seventeenth century Britain. Through close study of a broad cache of visual evidence, it will explore how Tudor and Stuart power was represented and received.
Course description Holbein and Henry VIII; Van Dyck and Charles I; Kneller and William III. The visual arts played a crucial role in fashioning and promoting the royal public image. This course introduces students to key issues in the relationship between art and politics in sixteenth and seventeenth century Britain. Through close study of royal portraiture, decorative schemes, printed ephemera, medals and court spectacle, it will explore how monarchs constructed images of authority, assessing the iconography, significance and impact of these efforts. Through individual presentations, group work, class discussion and site visits to, for example, The Scottish National Portrait Gallery and Holyrood House, students will consider important aspects of the fashioning process, including continuities and advances present in representations of each reign; relationships between royal patrons, artists and their public; and the diplomatic and propagandistic efficacy of the visual arts.

1: Introduction: Artistic Relationships: Patron, Artist and Audience
2: The Portraiture of Power: Holbein and Henry VIII
3: Reformation and Counter-Reformation: Religion and Art under Edward VI and Mary I
4: The Elizabethan Icon: Fashioning the Virgin Queen
5: Peace in our Time: Rubens, James VI and I, and the Art of Diplomacy
6: The Image of the King: Art at the Court of Charles I
7: Access and Display: The Spaces of Royal Power
8: Re-presenting Rule: Tradition and Innovation at the Restoration Court
9: Image Wars: Propaganda at the Rival Stuart Courts
10: Mothering the Nation: The Patronage of Queen Anne
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: History of Art 2A Reason, Romance, Revolution: Art from 1700 to 1900 (HIAR08027) AND History of Art 2B From Modernism and the Avant-Gardes to Postmodernism and Globalisation (HIAR08028) 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 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  21
Course Start Semester 1
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) 1 x 3-hour examination paper (50%) and 1 x 2,000 word extended essay (50%)
Feedback Formative and summative feedback will be provided. Students will be asked to complete a short written feed-forward exercise and will receive verbal feedback at a one-to-one meeting. 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 S1 (December)3 hour online exam3:15
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Discuss Tudor and Stuart visual culture with relation to recent historiography on art and authority in early modern Britain
  2. Place individual artists within a clear chronology and assess their impact upon developments in court culture
  3. Assess the primary visual and material sources through which monarchs fashioned their images
  4. Demonstrate developed skills of visual enquiry, analysis and communication
Reading List
Adamson, John (ed.) The Princely Courts of Europe (London, 1999).
Aston, Margaret, The King's Bedpost: Reformation and Iconography in a Tudor Group Portrait (Cambridge, 1995).
Corp, Edward (ed.), A Court in Exile: The Stuarts in France 1689-1718 (Cambridge, 2004).
Donovan, Fiona, Rubens and England (New Haven and London, 2004).
Hearn, Karen, Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630 (London, 1995).
Hearn, Karen (ed.), Van Dyck in Britain (London, 2009).
Holmes, Geoffrey, The Making of a Great Power: Late Stuart and Early Georgian Britain (London, 1993).
Howarth, David, Images of Rule: Art and Politics in the English Renaissance, 1485-1649 (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1997).
Keay, Anna, The Magnificent Monarch: Charles II and the Ceremonies of Power (New York and London, 2008).
Schwoerer, Lois G, 'Images of Queen Mary II, 1689-95' in Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 42, No. 4 (Winter, 1989).
Sharpe, Kevin, Image Wars, Promoting Kings and Commonwealths in England 1603-1660 (New Haven and London, 2010).
Sharpe, Kevin, Selling the Tudor Monarchy, Authority and Image in Sixteenth Century England (New Haven and London, 2009).
Smuts, R. Malcolm (ed.), The Stuart Court in Europe: Essays in Politics and Political Culture (Cambridge, 1996).
Strong, Roy. The Cult of Elizabeth: Elizabethan Portraiture and Pageantry (London, 1999).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Visual and critical analysis
Independent research
Presentation and communication skills
Group work
Organisation and planning
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 x 2 hour seminar
KeywordsEarly modern,politics,image,Tudor,Stuart,display,authority
Course organiserDr Seren Nolan
Course secretaryMr Nathan Ross-Hammond
Tel: (0131 6)51 5880
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