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ARTHIST 2: Asian Arts and Cultures (JAPAN 60)

An exploration of the visual arts of East and South Asia from ancient to modern times, in their social, religious, literary and political contexts. Analysis of major monuments of painting, sculpture and architecture will be organized around themes that include ritual and funerary arts, Buddhist art and architecture across Asia, landscape and narrative painting, culture and authority in court arts, and urban arts in the early modern world.
Last offered: Winter 2020 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II

ARTHIST 3: Introduction to World Architecture (CLASSICS 54)

This course offers an expansive and wide-ranging introduction to architecture and urban design from the earliest human constructions to the mid-20th century. The examples range from the Americas to Europe, the Middle East, South and East Asia. The diverse technologies and materialities of building are addressed throughout and an overriding concern is to understand architecture as a sensible manifestation of particular cultures, whether societies or individuals. To the same ends, student writing assignments will involve the analysis of local space, whether a room or a building, and then the built environment at large
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Barry, F. (PI)

ARTHIST 57Q: 10 American Photographs (AMSTUD 57Q)

Preference to sophomores. "The humor, the sadness, the EVERYTHING-ness and American-ness of these pictures!" wrote Jack Kerouac of photographer Robert Frank's iconic collection, The Americans. This seminar takes Kerouac's enthusiasm and applies it to ten American photographs, a new one each week. Examples span the medium's history and were taken as art, science, commerce, journalism, or personal mementos. Close study of the photo of the week will address how it looks and why; its history, from initial responses to later reception; and its relationship to the larger American visual and cultural context. Also under discussion: What story does this set of pictures tell about Americanness? What might another set of photos convey?
Last offered: Autumn 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

ARTHIST 100N: The Artist in Ancient Greek Society (CLASSICS 18N)

Given the importance of art to all aspects of their lives, the Greeks had reason to respect their artists. Yet potters, painters and even sculptors possessed little social standing. Why did the Greeks value the work of craftsmen but not the men themselves? Why did Herodotus dismiss those who worked with their hands as "mechanics?" What prompted Homer to claim that "there is no greater glory for a man than what he achieves with his own hands," provided that he was throwing a discus and not a vase on a wheel? Painted pottery was essential to the religious and secular lives of the Greeks. Libations to the gods and to the dead required vessels from which to pour them. Economic prosperity depended on the export of wine and oil in durable clay containers. At home, depictions of gods and heroes on vases reinforced Greek values and helped parents to educate their children. Vases depicting Dionysian excess were produced for elite symposia, from which those who potted and painted them were exclu more »
Given the importance of art to all aspects of their lives, the Greeks had reason to respect their artists. Yet potters, painters and even sculptors possessed little social standing. Why did the Greeks value the work of craftsmen but not the men themselves? Why did Herodotus dismiss those who worked with their hands as "mechanics?" What prompted Homer to claim that "there is no greater glory for a man than what he achieves with his own hands," provided that he was throwing a discus and not a vase on a wheel? Painted pottery was essential to the religious and secular lives of the Greeks. Libations to the gods and to the dead required vessels from which to pour them. Economic prosperity depended on the export of wine and oil in durable clay containers. At home, depictions of gods and heroes on vases reinforced Greek values and helped parents to educate their children. Vases depicting Dionysian excess were produced for elite symposia, from which those who potted and painted them were excluded. Sculptors were less lowly but still regarded as "mechanics," with soft bodies and soft minds (Xenophon), "indifferent to higher things" (Plutarch). The seminar addresses such issues as we work to acknowledge our own privilege and biases. Students will read and discuss texts, write response papers and present slide lectures on aspects of the artist's profession.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Maxmin, J. (PI)

ARTHIST 101: Introduction to Greek Art I: The Archaic Period (CLASSICS 161)

The class considers the development of Greek art from 1000-480 and poses the question, how Greek was Greek art? In the beginning, as Greece emerges from 200 years of Dark Ages, their art is cautious, conservative and more abstract than life-like, closer to Calder than Michelangelo. While Homer describes the rippling muscles (and egos) of Bronze Age heroes, his fellow painters and sculptors prefer abstraction. This changes in the 7th century, when travel to and trade with the Near East transform Greek culture. What had been an insular society becomes cosmopolitan, enriched by the sophisticated artistic traditions of lands beyond the Aegean "frog pond." Imported Near Eastern bronzes and ivories awaken Greek artists to a wider range of subjects, techniques and ambitions. Later in the century, Greeks in Egypt learn to quarry and carve hard stone from Egyptian masters. Throughout the 6th century, Greek artists absorb what they had borrowed, compete with one another, defy their teachers, tes more »
The class considers the development of Greek art from 1000-480 and poses the question, how Greek was Greek art? In the beginning, as Greece emerges from 200 years of Dark Ages, their art is cautious, conservative and more abstract than life-like, closer to Calder than Michelangelo. While Homer describes the rippling muscles (and egos) of Bronze Age heroes, his fellow painters and sculptors prefer abstraction. This changes in the 7th century, when travel to and trade with the Near East transform Greek culture. What had been an insular society becomes cosmopolitan, enriched by the sophisticated artistic traditions of lands beyond the Aegean "frog pond." Imported Near Eastern bronzes and ivories awaken Greek artists to a wider range of subjects, techniques and ambitions. Later in the century, Greeks in Egypt learn to quarry and carve hard stone from Egyptian masters. Throughout the 6th century, Greek artists absorb what they had borrowed, compete with one another, defy their teachers, test the tolerance of the gods and eventually produce works of art that speak with a Greek accent. By the end of the archaic period, images of gods and mortals bear little trace of alien influence or imprint, yet without the contributions of Egypt and the Near East, Greek art as we know it would have been unthinkable.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Maxmin, J. (PI)

ARTHIST 102: Introduction to Greek Art II: The Classical Period (CLASSICS 162)

The class begins with the art, architecture and political ideals of Periclean Athens, from the emergence of the city as the political and cultural center of Greece in 450 to its defeat in the Peloponnesian War in 404. It then considers how the Athenians (shell-shocked from war and three outbreaks of plague) and the rest of 4th century Greece rebuild their lives and the monuments that define them. Earlier 5th century traditions endure, with subtle changes, in the work of sculptors such as Kephisodotos. Less subtle are the outlook and output of his son Praxiteles. In collaboration with Phryne, his muse and mistress, Praxiteles challenged the canons and constraints of the past with the first female nude in the history of Greek sculpture. His gender-bending gods and men were equally audacious, their shiny surfaces reflecting Plato's discussion of Eros and androgyny. Scopas was also a man of his time, but pursued different interests. Drawn to the interior lives of men and woman, his torment more »
The class begins with the art, architecture and political ideals of Periclean Athens, from the emergence of the city as the political and cultural center of Greece in 450 to its defeat in the Peloponnesian War in 404. It then considers how the Athenians (shell-shocked from war and three outbreaks of plague) and the rest of 4th century Greece rebuild their lives and the monuments that define them. Earlier 5th century traditions endure, with subtle changes, in the work of sculptors such as Kephisodotos. Less subtle are the outlook and output of his son Praxiteles. In collaboration with Phryne, his muse and mistress, Praxiteles challenged the canons and constraints of the past with the first female nude in the history of Greek sculpture. His gender-bending gods and men were equally audacious, their shiny surfaces reflecting Plato's discussion of Eros and androgyny. Scopas was also a man of his time, but pursued different interests. Drawn to the interior lives of men and woman, his tormented Trojan War heroes and victims are still scarred by memories of the Peloponnesian War, and a world away from the serene faces of the Parthenon. His Maenad, who has left this world for another, belongs to the same years as Euripides' Bacchae and, at the same time, anticipates the torsion and turbulence of Bernini and the Italian Baroque. The history and visual culture of these years remind us that we are not alone, that the Greeks grappled as we do with the inevitability and consequences of war, disease and inner daemons.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Maxmin, J. (PI)

ARTHIST 104A: The Secret Lives of Statues from Ancient Egypt to Confederate Monuments (ARCHLGY 96, CLASSICS 96)

Statues, human-shaped sculptures, walk a fine line between being inert matter and living entities. Throughout human existence, humans have recognized that statues are not alive even as they understand that statues are capable of becoming potent allies or enemies. They are capable of engendering profound emotional responses, embodying potent ideas, and co-opting the past in service of the present. However, the same materiality that endows statues with these exceptional capacities also makes them vulnerable to humans intent on acquiring otherwise-expensive materials cheaply, commiting sectarian violence by proxy, and obliterating the material manifestations of others¿ memories.nnIn this course, we will study sixteen (groups of) statues thematically. To do this, we will draw on a wide variety of disciplines, including archaeology, art history, history, law, media studies, museum studies, and religious studies, to articulate how people in diverse places and times have revered and reviled statues precisely because they are uncanny objects that seem to have an all-too-human kind of agency. In so doing, we will gain appreciation for and insight into how and why the statues in our own lives are significant.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Gisch, D. (PI)

ARTHIST 106: Byzantine Art and Architecture, 300-1453 C.E. (ARTHIST 306, CLASSICS 171)

This course explores the art and architecture of the Eastern Mediterranean: Constantinople, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, Damascus, Thessaloniki, and Palermo, 4th-15th centuries. Applying an innovative approach, we will probe questions of phenomenology and aesthetics, focusing our discussion on the performance and appearance of spaces and objects in the changing diurnal light, in the glitter of mosaics and in the mirror reflection and translucency of marble.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

ARTHIST 110: French Painting from Watteau to Monet (ARTHIST 310, FRENCH 110, FRENCH 310)

This course offers a survey of painting in France from 1700 to around 1900. It introduces major artists, artworks, and the concepts used by contemporary observers and later art historians to make sense of this extraordinarily rich period. Overarching themes discussed in the class will include the dueling legacies of coloristic virtuosity and classical formalism, new ways of representing visual perception, the opposing artistic effects of absorption and theatricality, the rise and fall of official arts institutions, and the participation of artists and artworks in political upheaval and social change. The course ends with an interrogation of the concept of modernity and its emergence out of dialogue and conflict with artists of the past. Students will learn and practice formal analysis of paintings, as well as interpretations stressing historical context.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

ARTHIST 114: Mystical Naturalism: Van Eyck, Dürer, and the Northern Renaissance (ARTHIST 314)

A survey of the major innovations in Northern European painting ca. 1400-1600, in light of the social status of the artist between city and court. In the early fifteenth century painters began to render an idealized world down to its smallest details in ways that engaged new devotional practices. Later Hieronymus Bosch would identify the painter¿s imagination with the bizarre and grotesque. In response to Renaissance humanism, some painters introduced classical mythology and allegorical subjects in their works, and many traveled south to absorb Italianate pictorial styles. We will be visiting art museums in San Francisco and Stanford. May be repeat for credit.
Last offered: Winter 2014 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Repeatable 2 times (up to 8 units total)
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