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Willamette University

900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301

503-370-6300 voice

Course Listings

Art History

ARTH 275 (IT) Art Literature and Criticism (1)

This course will provide a set of interpretive tools and hermeneutic principles in order to critically analyze textual sources directly related to the dominion of Art History, from Antiquity to Modern period. The class will focus primarily on the study of significant primary sources, such as Vitruvius' influential book On Architecture or the Natural History by Pliny the Elder, as well as on different medieval treatises on art. The central part of the course, however, will be dedicated to the philological analysis and the historical exegesis of Renaissance art treatises written by either humanists or artists such as Leon Battista Alberti, Cennino Cennini, Leonardo de Vinci and Giorgio Vasari. The class will also explore later sources (from seventeenth century France and Holland to eighteenth century England and Germany), in the attempt to establish the basis for an epistemological distinction between Art Literature and Art Criticism as complementary fields of research, equally indispensable for any historically-based investigation on art and visual culture.

Prerequisite: ARTH 100-level course

Mode of Inquiry: Interpreting Texts

  • Offering: Alternate years
  • Professor: De Mambro Santos