HA2AA-Altars, Aristocrats and Guillotine. Aspects of Baroque, Rococo and Neo-Classical art and architecture

Module Provider: History
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2014/5

Module Convenor: Dr Simon Lee

Email: s.lee@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module covers selected aspects of European painting, sculpture and architecture from c.1600- c.1800. Topics such as the role and function of religious art and architecture, the imagery of absolutism, the nude, character, identity and status in portraiture and the use of art as propaganda will be explored by analyses of the work of such artists as Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Bernini, Borromini, LeBrun, Boucher, Reynolds, Gainsborough and David.

This module aims to provide students with an overall understanding of selected aspects of European painting, sculpture and architecture from c.1600- c.1800. The art and architecture of period will be discussed and examined with reference to changing religious demands, the emergence of Enlightenment thought and the political upheavals of the French Revolution.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

  • identify and explain the range and variety of artistic and architectural productions during the Baroque, Rococo and Neo-Classical period.
  • understand both the usefulness and limitations of style labels in art historical study
  • understand how selected art and architecture of the period was produced and consumed and also carry out scholarly interpretation of its function, meaning and significance.
  • access and use information on the subject by their own research and independent study.
  • form arguments and opinions about the role and nature of the art and architecture of the period and be able to organize this material into cogent and effective arguments in course work and the examination.

Additional outcomes:
With its requirement for preliminary reading and seminar preparation, this module encourages the development of students' library research skills and IT skills by the use of relevant Web resources and databases.

Outline content:
This course covers developments in Italian religious art and architecture as a response and reaction to the Counter Reformation, examines how art reflected social, and economic changes in Britain and France in the eighteenth century and also explores the relationship between enlightenment thought, political activism and didactic art. The genres of religious art and architecture, portraiture, history painting, commemorative sculpture and political propaganda will be covered as well as a consideration of the increasing role of a 'public' in the sphere of art. Artists and architects covered include Caravaggio, Annibale Carracci, Bernini, Borromini, Pietro da Cortona, Poussin, LeBrun, Velázquez, Boucher, Reynolds, Gainsborough, David and Canova.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Two hours of seminars per week. Seminars involve short individual presentations and structured group discussion requiring preparatory research and reading. Students are expected to visit museums or galleries on their own initiative but study visits may be arranged to appropriate galleries and exhibitions.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Seminars 9 9 2
Tutorials 6 6
Guided independent study 60 60 28
Total hours by term 85.00 85.00 30.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 20
Oral assessment and presentation 10
Practical skills assessment 10

Other information on summative assessment:
For Coursework, students give one assessed oral presentation and submit a written version of their text. The final session of the course is a slide test identifying key images analysed during the course. Two essays of c.2,000 words are also to be submitted in the last week of each term. Each of these four tasks are equally weighted
The three hour written examination consists of a ‘seen’ section of six questions, from which two must be answered, and a compulsory ‘unseen’ photographic question.

Formative assessment methods:
Students are requested to meet with the Module Convenor to discuss the content and scope of their presentations and to ensure that the visual material used is of the highest possible quality.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One three hour written paper.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August / September. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a confirmed mark of 40% or more. Otherwise it must be resubmitted by 22nd August.

    Last updated: 8 October 2014

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