Course Descriptions

Course Catalog for ART HISTORY
AHIS 101
Introduction to the History of Art in the West I
A survey of the history of art and architecture from the Paleolithic period to the Middle Ages, examining objects in their cultural, historical, and artistic contexts.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 102
Introduction to the History of Art in the West II
A survey of the history of painting, sculpture, and architecture from the Renaissance to the present day.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 103
Introduction to Asian Art
An introductory survey of the art of India, China, and Japan with reference to the cultural and religious contexts that gave rise to the architecture, sculpture, and painting of each civilization. (May be counted towards International Studies/Asian Studies)
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 105
History of World Cinema
A survey of the art of the cinema examining different national schools with special attention to major commercial and avant-garde filmmakers such as Coppola, Hitchcock, Fellini, Bergman, Godard, Eisenstein, Welles, and Renoir. In order to address individual films in a broad cultural context, one film will be screened and analyzed each week. (Note: Replaces "Film as a Visual Art.")
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 161
Survey: Introduction to the History of Western Architecture
A survey of the history of architecture from the ancient world to the present, focusing on Western Europe. Some themes that will be examined are: the classical tradition, the development of building technologies and structural systems, the urbanization of Europe, the influence of patronage, the introduction and mutability of building types, and changes in domestic interior life. The final weeks of the course trace the continuation of these themes in the America and the modern world.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 202
Close Look at Art and Architecture
In this course we will examine original works of art and discuss major art and architectural materials, techniques and artistic processes. We will focus on works of art from the collections of Trinity College and the Watkinson Library, and we will visit the Wadsworth Atheneum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Yale University Art Gallery and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The course offers one-half credit to be taken conjunction with Art History 102 for students who seek greater depth in the field of art history, for prospective majors, for majors in art history, and for students engaged in internships at art museums.
Prerequisite: concurrent or previous enrollment in Art History 102
0.50 units, Lecture
AHIS 207
The Arts of China
This course will focus on the arts of China from the Neolithic period through the Qing Dynasty (ca. 6000 B.C.E.-1850 C.E.) We will study art produced for burial, Buddhist temples, the imperial court, and the scholar elite. We will consider architecture, sculpture, painting, bronze, jade lacquer, and ceramics, placing the art within its historical context and identifying what makes it uniquely Chinese. This 200-level lecture survey course will require a paper, a mid-term, and a final examination. (May be counted towards International Studies/Asian Studies)
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 208
The Arts of Japan
This course will focus on the arts of Japan from the Jomon period through the Edo period (circa 10,500 BCE - 1868 CE). Pre-Buddhist art will concentrate on pottery and bronze as well as Shinto architecture. Buddhist art will include architecture, sculpture, and painting. Secular art will explore the tradition of the narrative hand scroll as well as portraits and landscapes. Castle architecture and woodblock prints are other important topics. The art will be placed within its historical context, especially considering what makes it uniquely Japanese and whether or not it incorporates Chinese influence. (May be counted toward International Studies/Asian Studies)
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 223
Medieval Art and Architecture
The art and architecture of the Middle Ages beginning with the emergence in the 4th century of distinct styles, subjects and forms from the Christian and pagan art of the late Roman empire to the works of the Greek East and Latin West. The course also surveys the monuments of the Carolingian Renaissance and of the Romanesque and Gothic periods in Western Europe.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 232
Gothic and Renaissance Art in Northern Europe
Art and architecture in northern Europe from the late 12th to the 16th century, with emphasis upon high Gothic cathedrals such as Chartres and Amiens and upon painting and sculpture in France, the Low Countries, and Germany.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 234
Early Renaissance Art in Italy
A study of painting, sculpture and architecture in Italy from the later Middle Ages through the 15th century, with emphasis on masters such as Pisani, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Piero della Francesca, Botticelli, and Bellini. Themes of naturalism, humanism, the revival of antiquity, and the growth of science as they relate to the visual arts will be explored.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 236
High Renaissance Art in Italy
Italian painting, sculpture, and architecture from the end of the 15th century through the 16th century. Examines the work of the creators of the High Renaissance style, including Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian. The emergence of mannerism in central Italy and its influences on North Italian and Venetian painters will also be explored.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 243
El Greco to Goya: The Golden Age of Painting in Spain
This course will focus on the art of Spain between the late-16th and 18th centuries, with particular emphasis on the interaction between painting and the social and political cultures that shaped the works of El Greco, Ribera, Velasquez, Murillo, and Goya. As a leading European power in this period, Spain was in constant contact with artistic centers in Italy and the Netherlands, and thus the course will also discuss the role of patrons and collectors in Spain's Golden Age, whose growing wealth and activities affected both the production of art and the social status of the Spanish artist. Finally, echoing the strangely contradictory position of the Spanish monarchy in this period of European history-as both politically dominant and culturally peripheral-this course will describe how Spain transformed the artistic influences it received from abroad to fit the needs of its changing society.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 244
Empire Building: Architecture and Urbanism in Spanish America
Following the overthrow of the Aztec and Incan Empires, the Spanish Empire instituted programs of political, religious, and social control throughout Central and South America that permanently altered the cultural and artistic landscape of this region. Beginning with the foundation of the city of Santo Domingo in 1502 and ending with the "mission trail" of churches established by Junipero Serra in 18th-century Spanish California, this course will examine the art, architecture, and urbanism that projected the image of Spain onto the "New World." Other issues to be discussed include the interaction between Spanish and local traditions, symbolic map-making, the emergence of a "Spanish Colonial" sensibility, and the transformations of form and meaning at individual sites over time.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 245
Design and Ritual Space in Rennaissance and Baroque Europe
While their feudal prototypes emphasized defensibility and the protection of private space, palaces, and country home in Western Europe were transformed during the Rennaisance into elaborately planned sites of public and private ritual. As competing courts developed increasingly intricate rules of conduct and decorum, palace architecture and decoration evolved into a complex theatrical setting for the politicized ceremonies staged by their owners. This course will examine the evolution of architecture and interior design in Western Europe, from the extensive palace built by Taddeo Barberini in Rome to the compact, Palladio-influenced Mauritshuis in the Hague. Other issues to be explored include gender differences in the design and decoration of private space, and the influence of different patronage models on palace and country house design and appearance. Prerequisite: Art History 102, 161 or the equivalent.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 246
Art in the Age of Absolutism: The European Baroque
During the seventeenth century, Europe underwent a series of civil, religious, and economic upheavals which paradoxically resulted in a period of extraordinarily innovative art. This course begins with the rise of the Roman Baroque, from the disturbing realism of Caravaggio to the multi-media theatricality of Bernini, examining artistic patronage and production in the highly charged political, social, and cultural contexts of Europe during and after the Thirty Years' War. It continues with a study of the broad range of artistic response to these developments in both Southern and Northern Europe, from the elaborate state pageantry of Rubens to the intensely personal portraiture of Rembrandt. Other artists to be studied include Poussin, Le Brun, Zurbaran, Velazquez, Van Dyck, and Vermeer.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 247
Architecture and Urbanism from 1500 to 1750
This course explores major trends in Western architecture and urbanism from the emergence of Italian Renaissance architecture and planning to the extensive Baroque palaces at Versailles and elsewhere in absolutist Europe. Topics to be examined include the classical tradition, the influence of patronage, the rise of architecture as a profession, and the legacy of European theory and practice in North and South America during the colonial period. In addition to exploring the relationship between architectural and urban theory and form, this course will examine buildings and cities in the evolving social, political, and religious contexts of the period.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 252
18th-Century Art and Architecture
This course will examine the major artists, patrons, critics, and art movements of Europe in the Age of the Enlightenment, with emphasis on the reflections in the arts of the political, social, and technological changes that marked this early modern era. In early 18th-century France, we will trace the significance of the Academie Royale in Paris, of the French academy in Rome, and of state patronage and critical support for royal portraiture, secular and religious painting and the theatrical landscapes. As well as the more liberal climate that fostered the French Rococo, naturalists genre and still life painting. In Italy, we will focus on Venice and the Grand Tour. After a brief look at Goya's early career and seminal student trip to Italy, we will consider the rise of satire, history painting, and portraiture in the 18th-century England. In conclusion, we will return to Paris to trace in its art, political, and social history the waning years of the ancient regime and the onset of the French Revolution.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 258
History of the Decorative Arts
This course examines the history of interior architecture and the many types of moveable objects that filled these spaces for both ceremonial and daily use in urban European cultures. While there will be some consideration of the 19th-20th centuries, the main emphasis will be on the 17th and 18th centuries in France, Italy, Germay and Britain. The course will fall into three parts: the study of interior architecture and the uses of interior spaces in palaces and private residences; the history of styles; the history of indivudual crafts, materials, and makers. The course will consider textile and tapestry, furniture, ceramics, metalwork and sculpture, crystal and glass.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 261
19th-Century Painting and Sculpture
A study of European painting and sculpture from the Romanticism of the late 18th century to the emergence of new directions at the end of the 19th century. The course is adapted each year to take advantage of major exhibitions. Museum visits and extensive readings will be integral to the makeup of the course.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 265
19th-Century Architecture
Broad developments in Western European and American architecture and urbanism from the period 1750 to 1900. Specific developments include international Neoclassicism, the crisis of historicism and the search for style, the rise of new building types and technologies, and the emergence of the architectural profession and modern city planning.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 271
The Arts of America
This course exmines major trends in painting, sculpture, arthitecture, and the decorative arts in the United States from the colonial period to 1900. Emphasis will be placed on how the arts in the United States reflect the social and cultural history of the 18th and 19th centuries.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 271
The Arts of America
This course examines major trends in painting, sculpture, architecture, and the decorative arts in the United States from the colonial period to 1900. Emphasis will be placed on how the arts in the United States reflect the social and cultural history of the 18th and 19th centuries.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 282
20th-Century Avant Garde in Painting and Sculpture
This course addresses the position of art in European and American society from 1890 to 1945 when the concept of the artist as a rebel and visionary leader defined art's relation to contemporary social, political, and aesthetic issues. The movements of symbolism, expressionism, cubism, dada, and surrealism are discussed. Current exhibitions and the collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum are used whenever appropriate.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 283
Contemporary Art
Following the Second World War, artists transformed the avant-garde tradition of their European predecessors to establish a dialogue with the mass media and consumer culture that has resulted in a wide array of artistic movements. Issues ranging from multiculturalism and gender to modernism and postmodernism will be addressed through the movements of abstract expressionism, pop, minimalism, neo-expressionism and appropriation in the diverse media of video, performance, and photography, as well as painting and sculpture. Current exhibitions and criticism are integral to the course. Art History 282 is recommended.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 286
Modern Architecture: 1900 to the Present
This course surveys broad developments in Western European and American architecture and urbanism from 1900 to the present. Topics include Viennese Modernism, the legacy of the Arts and Crafts movement, the Bauhaus, the International Style and the birth of Modernism, and reactions of the past 25 years. Close attention will be paid to such major figures as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Louis Kahn, Robert Venturi and Frank Gehry.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 292
History of Photography
Major developments in European and American photography from 1839 to the present.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 294
The Arts of Africa
An examination of the art and architecture of sub-Saharan Africa as modes of symbolic communication: the ritual context of art, the concept of the artist, the notion of popular art, and the decorated body.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 295
African Architecture and the Design Space
This course examines the forms and symbolism of the house and settlement in sub-Saharan Africa and the ways architecuture and pottery, woodcarving, weaving, and body sacrification form a unity. Topics include landscape as history and invention; ethnicity, economics and patterns of settlement; sacred spaces, churches and mosques; royal palaces; the influence of Islam on buildings and sedentarization in West Africa; the colonial city and colonial monuments; the modern industrial and administrative city; building for status and razing for resistance.
1.00 units, Lecture
AHIS 301
Major Seminar in Art Historical Method
Required of and limited to art history majors, as one of the first courses they take after declaring their major. Studies in the tradition and methodology of art historical research. Readings in classics of the literature of art history; discussions of major issues and meeting with scholars and museum professionals; students will pursue an active research project and present both oral reports and formal written research papers.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 306
Seminar: Arts of the Ming Dynasty 1368-1644
The arts flourished during the Ming Dynasty with the restoration of Chinese rule. The Imperial court patronized painters and supported ceramic production, especially undgerglaze blue painted porcelain. Architectural accomplishments included the Forbidden City in Beijing as well as Buddhist temples. The gardens of Suzhou remain among the finest in the world. Scholar-amateur painters subtly reworked earlier styles. Other significant areas of artistic excellence were sculpture, textiles, lacquer, furniture, and cloisonné enamel. (May be counted towards international studies/Asian studies.)
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 334
Patrons and Artists in the Italian Renaissance
Readings and discussion will center on the collaboration between patrons and artists, focusing on the tangible and intangible goals and results for both parties. Case studies of civic, ecclesiastic and family commissions will be drawn from the period 1300-1500 in central Italy.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 334
Seminar in Renaissance Art: Mural Painting 1290-1520
Painting on walls creates special demands on the artist because he must work on site in a pre-existing architectural space. At the same time, the setting of mural painting, in churches, civic buildings, palaces and villas, was exploited by religious, civic, and private pattrons to further their own ends. How the conditions of mural painting affect the techniques, procedures, imagery, and content will be explored by focusing on selected projects painted in Italy between 1290 and 1520, including the St. Francis cycle in Assisi, Giotto's Arena chapel in Padua, Masaccio's Brancacci chapel, Raphael's Vatican Stanze and Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 341
Seminar in Baroque Art: Caravaggio
This course will examine the life, work, and legacy of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) within the artistic and historical contexts of the Baroque era. Reviled and revered for his shockingly realistic painting style, along with his famous (but disputed) insistence on painting directly from life rather than from preparatory drawings, Caravaggio was the most influential painter of his time. Topics to be examined include Caravaggio's relationship to Counter-Reformation art and the Inquisition, his controversial religious scenes, themes of violence, eroticism and homoeroticism in his work, his working methods in light of recent technical analyses, his biographers and critical reception, and the works of his followers, or Caravaggisti, in Europe and beyond. This course fulfills the 17th century requirement in art history.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Art History 102 or 246, or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 342
Seminar in Baroque Art: Art in the Age of Rembrandt
Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), was one of the most prolific and profoundly original painters and printmakers to emerge in seventeenth-century Holland's Golden Age. The newly independent republic, a mercantile power and middle-class urban society with strong Calvinist leanings, found expression in the painting of Rembrandt and his contemporaries. This course will examine Rembrandt's imaginative reinventions of the genres of self-portrait and group portrait painting, his naturalistic and often eroticized female nudes, and how his biblical narratives draw upon modern Protestant Amsterdam, where an important emigrant Jewish population found refuge. Questions of attribution, workshop production and art market manipulation will also be explored. NOTE: This course fulfills the Art History major requirement for the 17th -18th Century
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 351
Seminar: Topics in 18C Art: Patronage, Collecting and Display
This seminar will explore leading figures and institutions of art patronage and the art markets in Europe in the 17th and 8th centuries including consideration of how works of art were used in private residences and royal palaces and how they were made available to the public in the first museums in Dresden, Paris and Rome. Royal patrons Louis XIV and Augustus the Strong of Saxony will be studied alongside individual patrons such as Madame de Rembouillet and Madame de Pompadour. Students will do intensive independent research projects leadin gto oral presentations and term papers.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 351
Seminar: Topics in 18C Art: Patronage, Collecting and Display
This seminar will explore leading figures and institutions of art patronage and the art markets in Europe in the 17th and 19th centuries including consideration of how works of art were used in private residences and royal palaces and how they were made available to the public in the first museums in Dresden, Paris and Rome. Royal patrons Louis XIV and Augustus the Strong of Saxony will be studied alongside individual patrons such as Madame de Rambouillet and Madame de Pompadour. Students will do intensive independent research projects leading to oral presentations and term papers.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 357
The History of Decorative Arts in Europe: 1600-1900
The evolution of domestic interior architecture in the early modern period along with the rise of importation of new raw and finished goods from Asia, Africa and the Americas led to a dramatic elaboration of the decorative or useful arts in secular society. There was a parallel decline in the variety and richness of ritual objects used for ecclesiastical and monarchical settings. This course would consider the changes in institutions, trade, social mores and architectural settings that informed the creation of objects for everyday use and would study the specific craft traditions for woodworking, ceramics, textiles, precious metals, glass and stonework as they applied to the making of furniture, tapestry, food service, objects for personal hygiene, transportation, garden ornament, decorative objects, scientific instruments, mirrors, lighting fixtures, heating, clothing and jewelry. The course would include required museum visits.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 361
Seminar in 19th-Century Art: Impressionism in Focus: Paul Cezanne
Paul Cezanne has long been described as the father of cubism, the essential forerunner of abstract art, or even as the progenitor of modern painting in its entirety. No less than Picasso and Matisse would claim him as the essential forbearer. Yet despite the special place the artist holds in relation to the development of modernism, few 19th-century painters offer an oeuvre so richly varied, powerfully original, or strikingly reflective of the unique moment in history in which it was created. This course will examine the integral layers of biographical, pictorial and larger cultural and historical constructions Cezanne's painting addresses even in its earliest forms and will aim to situate his work not only at the inception of the 20th-century art but within the heady environment of late 19th-century France, one that Cezanne knew well and embraced. A 300-level offering, this course will consist of lectures, discussion of recent critical readings, museum visits, and student presentations.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 372
The American Domestic Interior
This course examines the interior architecture and decorative arts of the United States from the colonial period through the eclectic revivals of the 19th century and the reforms of the colonial revival and aesthetic movements at the turn of the 20th century. Themes such as the influence of foreign tastes, technological innovation, and social history on the evolution of rooms and their use will be examined. Consideration will also be given to the architects, craftsmen, and patrons who created them. Field visits to historic houses and decorative arts collection will be included.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 377
Suburbua/Urbia
Arguments for and against living in a city--versus a suburb--about in current literature. Though the suburban lifestyle is now shared by the majority of Americans, that way of living has been thrown into question. Suburbs themselves have evolved into more complex entities in the past fifty years. This course takes advantage of the rich literature on suburbia and the city. We will read time-honored writings on the city, as well as more recent literature by historians and critics. Topics include: housing types, land-use patterns, the impact of the automobile, suburban vs. urban values, and the portrayal of suburbs and the city in film. We will also discuss new movements such as the New Urbanism and the resurgence of traditional town planning.
Prerequisite: C- or better in Art History 265, 286 or 161, or Cities Program 202.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 381
Cross-Currents: European and American Art in the 20th Century
This seminar will examine the shifting patterns of exchange between European and American artists that drove the development of avant-garde art in the 20th century. Topics will range from the influence of Picasso and Cubism on the development of American art in the early-20th century to the impact of Andy Warhol and Pop Art on contemporary European artists, such as Gerhardt Richter. This course is planned in conjunction with an exhibition, “Picasso and American Art,” that I am curating for the Whitney Museum of American Art. Preference will be given to students who have taken either Art History 282 or Art History 283.
Prerequisite: C- or better in either Art History 282 or 283 or permission of instructor.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 381
Seminar: Museum Issues
The art museum in the United States is a unique social institution because of its blend of public and private support and its intricate involvement with artists, art historians, collectors, the art market, and the government. This course will study the art museum's history and status in our society today. Special consideration will be given to financial, legal, and ethical issues that face art museums in our time. The emphasis will be on American institutions and particularly on the Wadsworth Atheneum. Short papers, oral reports, and visits with directors, curators, and other museum officials in nearby museums will be included along with a detailed study of a topic of one's choice.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 385
Seminar: Topics in 20th Century Art: Picasso and Contemporary Art
This seminar will examine the central role of Pablo Picasso in 20th century art during his lifetime (1881-1973) and the global impact of his art and reputation on art in the nearly four decades since his death. The seminar will be linked to an exhibition Professor FitzGerald is organizing for Museu Picasso in Barcelona, and the process of curating an exhibition will be an integral part of the discussions. Students will have the opportunity to undertake projects on artists internationally (including France and Spain in the Europe, as well as in Asia and Africa) and museological and commercial systems of the art world.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 391
Prints and Printmaking
Images created in multiple have been the most powerful way of disseminating visual imagery in human history. Woodcut, engraving, etching, lithography, silkscreen and now digital processes have all been used to create images which could be used alone as artistic expression or aids in collective enterprises such as book illustration, propaganda, journalism or advertising. The seminar will provide an opportunity for students to to learn the rudiments of print connoisseurship and to study the history of printmaking, print publishing and the history of the illustrated book. The students will work with original prints in the collections of Trinity College and at other Connecticut institutions and works in private collections.
1.00 units, Seminar
AHIS 399
Independent Study
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and program director are required for enrollment.
1.00 units min / 2.00 units max, Independent Study
AHIS 460
Tutorial
Individual research and reading under the guidance of a department member. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar’s Office, and the approval of the instructor and chairperson are required for enrollment. (Hours by arrangement)
1.00 units, Independent Study
AHIS 466
Teaching Assistantship
Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and program director are required for enrollment.
0.50 units min / 1.00 units max, Independent Study
AHIS 497
Senior Thesis
An individual tutorial to prepare an extended paper on a topic in art history. An oral presentation of a summary of the paper will be delivered in the spring term. Submission of the special registration form, available in the Registrar's Office, and the approval of the instructor and program director are required for enrollment in this single-semester thesis. (1 course credit to be completed in one semester.)
1.00 units, Independent Study