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ARTHIST 1A: Introduction to the Visual Arts: Prehistoric through Medieval (CLASSICS 56)

This course explores monuments from the pre-historic through the medieval periods with a focus on their sensory dimensions. How did the ritual and the décor manipulate the viewer and produced different states of consciousness in the cave art of Lascaux? How was power structured as a sensual experience in the empires of Assyria, Babylon, and Egypt? How did the concept of democracy realize itself in the development of pictorial and sculptural naturalism in Classical Athens? We will engage some of the greatest monuments of human civilization produced in the most distant past in places far away and bring them nearby engaging also with the art at the Cantor Museum and the facsimiles of manuscripts at the Stanford Libraries. The lectures introduce major monuments, while the discussion sections allow students to gain new powers of observation and deepen their analytical skills through a direct engagement with objects on display at the museum.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-GlobalCom, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

ARTHIST 1B: How to Look at Art and Why: An Introduction to the History of Western Painting

This course explores the relation of art to life¿how and why works of art, even from hundreds of years ago, matter in a person¿s life. It trains students to find the words to share their thoughts about art with their peers, friends, and family. Some fundamental questions the course considers: How do we get beyond the idea that the study and making of art are elite, ¿privileged¿ activities apart from the real world? How do we develop a sense of discernment¿of deciding for ourselves which artists matter, and which don¿t¿without being a snob? How can works of art teach us to feel the wonder of being alive and our deep debt to the past, to the dead? Focusing on painters such as Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Goya, Manet, Morisot, and Charlotte Salomon, this course will pursue these questions with the aim of challenging and encouraging students to develop their own ways of thinking and feeling¿generously and ethically¿about the past and the present. Sections will focus on original works of art at the Cantor Arts Center. No prerequisites required.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Nemerov, A. (PI)
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