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. HA2017 trains students to use a variety of conceptual tools to more accurately analyse visual images. HA2012, meanwhile, is a text-based module that introduces some of the key methodological approaches to the discipline. HA2009 and HA2013 focus on the traditions of portraiture and of lens-based media respectively, and HA2014 addresses the development of genre painting from the 17th century onwards. HA2005 provides an in-depth study of trends in patronage in Renaissance Italy, including a class trip to Florence, and HA2003 and HA2011 familiarise students with modern artistic practices. Lastly, for students taking the 50-credit Subject, HA2022 and HA2023 will provide the opportunity to work on extended essays under the supervision of an art historian from our teaching team.
For the four credit pathways on offer, see the College Calendar.
Dr Simon Knowles, 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 (Tue); Kane Building G07 (Thu)
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 2: Monday, 16:00-18:00
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 Simon Knowles
Semester 2: Tuesday, 17:00-18:00; Wednesday, 16:00-17:00
Location: West Wing 5 (Tue); Boole 5 (Wed)
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: Dr Mary Kelly
Semester 1: Friday, 12:00-14:00
Location: West Wing 5
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

HA2012 The History of Art History & Method

Coordinator: Dr Flavio Boggi
Semester 2: Tuesday, 10:00-11:00; Thursday, 10:00-11:00
Location: O'Rahilly Building, 156 (Tue); Kane Building 10A (Thu)
This module examines key texts by major art writers, art theorists, and art historians, ranging from the Renaissance to the present day. Classes will focus on the methods and theories developed in the Euro-American tradition of art history, while remaining attentive to the shortcomings of that tradition. More

HA2013 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

HA2014 People & Places

Coordinator: Dr Simon Knowles
Semester 1: Tuesday, 17:00-18:00; Wednesday, 16:00-17:00
Location: West Wing 5 (Tue); Boole 6 (Wed)
This module addresses the development of genre painting from 1600 to 1900, and it will focus on the extent to which narratives of daily life are framed by the locations within which these narratives are set. The course will focus on interior and exterior scenes, and on both the urban and the rural setting. It will begin by studying seventeenth-century Dutch art and will then consider the extent to which the art of this period provided a point of departure for later representations of the contemporary scene in France and England. More

HA2017 Legible/Visible: Art & Interpretation

Coordinator: Dr Mary Kelly
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

HA2022 Extended Essay 1

Coordinator: Dr Simon Knowles
Semester 1: Directed Study (Individual Consultation with Coordinator and Supervisor)
This module will introduce you to literature searches in art history and to the skills required in explaining and analysing an issue in detail. You will work on an essay of a max 3,500 words on an approved topic in the study of art history, written under the direction of a relevant member of staff. Your extended essay should be submitted to the Art History office by the start of semester 2, on a day prescribed by the Department. More

HA2023 Extended Essay 2

Coordinator: Dr Simon Knowles
Semester 2: Directed Study (Individual Consultation with Coordinator and Supervisor)
This module will introduce you to literature searches in art history and to the skills required in explaining and analysing an issue in detail. You will work on an essay of a max 3,500 words on an approved topic in the study of art history, written under the direction of a relevant member of staff. Your extended essay should be submitted to the Art History office at the end of the second semester, on a day prescribed by the Department. More

History of Art

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