BA Second Arts

Our Second-Arts programme is an exciting and multifaceted course of study. The year builds on the art historical fundaments established in First Arts by offering a series of historically and thematically specific classes, allowing students to consider material in more detail. The lectures are supplemented by tutorials, which are student-centered, supportive learning environments. HA2024 trains students to use a variety of conceptual tools to more accurately analyse visual images. HA2009 and HA2025, meanwhile, focus on the traditions of portraiture and of lens-based media respectively, and HA2005 provides an in-depth study of trends in patronage in Renaissance Italy, including a class trip to Florence. Finally, HA2003 and HA2011 familiarise students with modern and contemporary artistic practices.
For the three credit pathways on offer, see the Academic Programme Catalogue.
Laurence Counihan, Second-Arts Convenor.

HA2003 Modernism in Europe

Coordinator: Dr  Sabine Kriebel 
Semester 1: Tuesday, 10:00-11:00; Thursday, 10:00-11:00
Location: West Wing 5 (Tues) and Kane Building G07 (Thurs)
This module will examine concepts of modernity and modernism in the visual arts. The course is chronological, moving through the various movements in modern art from Impressionism to Surrealism, and examines this visual history by focusing both on the developing aesthethic debate and on the impact of social, scientific, and political developments on art practice. Works are studied with key texts that influenced and defended ideas of the modern.  More

HA2005 Art & Patronage in Renaissance Italy

Coordinator: Dr  Flavio Boggi
Semester 1: Friday, 12:00-14:00
Location: West Wing 5
The module investigates Italian renaissance art and architecture within the context of patronage, politics, and society. The artistic milieu of a republican city-state, such as Florence, is compared with the very different climate of a princely court, such as the Montefeltro duchy of Urbino. As a result, we will question why art and architecture may be seen to give visual expression to the democratic ideals promoted by a city-republic or to the culture of magnificence cultivated by the ruler of a princely court. Other major themes of the course are the impact of the culture of classical antiquity, the dissemination of northern European ideals of chivalry, and the changing status of the artist.  More

HA2009 Creator & Subject: Themes in Portraiture

Coordinator: Dr  Flavio Boggi
Semester 2: Monday, 16:00-18:00
Location: West Wing 5
The production of portraits has increased exponentially since the Renaissance, with examples found in all media, from painting, sculpture and drawing, to photography, film and even architecture. As a genre, portraiture brings into focus crucial questions regarding the transactions between visual representation and subjectivity, and this module is organised thematically so as to foreground issues pertaining to the politics of identity and to the complexities of inter-subjective encounters. A number of broad questions will organise our inquiry: if a portrait delivers a ‘likeness’ of the sitter, what aspects of the individual does it resemble (physical features, emotional life, primary activities, social status, inner essence, ‘soul,’ etc.)?  What is the nature of the relationship between patron and artist, artist and sitter, and, in the case of the self-portrait, between artist and him/herself? What social and psychic functions do portraits serve, and how have these changed over time and within different contexts? By exploring such questions, students will gain a richer and more critical understanding of this crucial genre in the Western tradition.  More

HA2011 From Modernism to Postmodernism: Art after 1945

Coordinator: Laurence Counihan
Semester 2: Wednesday, 16:00-17:00; Thursday, 10:00-11:00
Location: Food Science Building 322 (Weds) and Kane Building B10A (Thurs)
This module examines shifts in aesthetic and cultural values that took place in art made after 1945, with a focus on Europe and America. The course charts the consolidation of and challenges to Modernist critical paradigms, and then explores various ways in which artists in the post-War period responded to the social, political, cultural and intellectual conditions that characterised their situation. Close attention is paid to specific artworks and critical texts.  More

HA2024 Legible/Visible: Art & Interpretation

Coordinator: Laurence Counihan
Semester 1: Monday, 16:00-18:00
Location: West Wing 5
Are visual images made to be looked at or to be 'read'? What happens when our visual experience is put into words (and how far is that possible)? How far are images also signs; how close are they to language? What do images mean, and what tools have art historians developed to analyze and order that production of meaning? What is the relationship between aesthetic experience and interpretation? This module explores the relationship between visual experience and language in art historical and theoretical engagements with artworks. Students will be introduced to key methodological approaches in reading, analyzing and writing about a broad range of visual images from a variety of historical periods. The module combines the close analysis of specific images with precise critical attention to selected texts.  More

HA2025 Representations

Coordinator: Dr  Sabine Kriebel
Semester 2: Friday, 12:00-14:00 
Location: West Wing 5 
This module will wrestle with the notion of pictorial representation, using the photographic medium as the fulcrum around which to consider broader discourses such as science, art, mass culture, reality, truth, material and immaterial culture, celebrity, and power in particular historical contexts.  We will be studying various modes of visual picturing, from straightforward so-called ‘realist’ representation to more complex forms such as symbol, allegory, and the imaginary.  We will consider a range of artistic practices and media from the 1830s onward, paying close attention to the material, structural aspects of representation.  More

History of Art

5 Perrott Avenue, University College Cork, CORK, Republic of Ireland.