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HA4010 Art and Religion in the Hispanic World

Module Organiser: Dr Peter Cherry
Duration of the Module: Michaelmas and Hilary term
Contact Hours: 1 x 2-hour seminar weekly
Weighting: 20 ECTS
Assessment: Continuous assessment (30%) and two Summer examinations (70%)

This module concentrates on religious imagery in the Spanish orbit from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries. It looks at the uses of religious art in the Tridentine period in the service of the monarchy and a range of religious institutions, such as monastic orders and hospitals. Close attention will be paid to the typology of religious art, such as the altarpiece, the emphasis on particular devotions, such as the Eucharist, and the rise of specific iconographies and their cultural and political meanings in the period, including the Immaculate Conception, the ecstatic saint, martyrdom, and the image of the Veronica's veil. The module will focus on the works of such painters as Francisco de Zurbarán, Bartolomé Murillo, El Greco, Velázquez and Goya; sculptors such as Juan Martínez Montañés and Gianlorenzo Bernini; and the role of prints and other types of imagery.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  • identify the major works of a selected number of painters and sculptors in Spain, Rome, and Antwerp during the period c.1580-c.1700.
  • explain key trends in artistic style and practices at different historical points and in different artistic centres over the period
  • explain the function and meaning of a range of types of imagery in response to the patronage of the church, the religious orders and private individuals over the period
  • assess the value of specific historical texts in interpretation of period imagery
  • engage critically with methodologies and scholarly debates which have shaped art-historical interpretations of the period
  • interpret visual and written evidence to formulate informed, contextual analyses of visual art of the period
  • defend an argument in response to a specific question in written and oral presentations, using concrete examples of works of art

Last updated 4 September 2014