Course Catalog


Introduces first the specific contributions of Greek art to the Western tradition. Then presents the diversification of these achievements in the Etruscan civilization and in the Hellenistic age. Examines how the Romans absorbed, continued, and creatively transformed Greek and Etruscan art and passed the ancient heritage on to medieval and early modern Europe.


Explores the adaptation of ancient art by the Christian religious establishment and the interaction of early medieval artists with the Graeco-Roman tradition. Follows the development of medieval art in the West to the Gothic period by analyzing its spiritual dimensions and diversity as well as the impact on artistic creation of the changing centers of power and influences.


This course will introduce you to the major works of the Italian and Northern Renaissance from 1300 to 1600. Emphasis will be placed on understanding artworks within their original cultural contexts, paying particular attention to the production and circulation of art in an age of exploration and discovery. Key themes and issues of consideration will include the idea of a classical revival and artistic self-fashioning, questions of imitation and style, courtly values, art collecting and the ethnographic print, as well as the religious debates of the period and the changing status of the sacred image.


This course examines the reverberations and multi-faceted reactions to the reform movements known as the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, and explores different notions of the Baroque in a global context. We will consider the art and architecture of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and France, as well as the art of colonial Latin America and East Asia. Key themes and issues of consideration will include the changing role of religious images; heresy and persuasion in art; colonial art and questions of transmission, reproduction and hybridity; the rise of artists' academies and art theory; the development of genre painting; cabinets of curiosity and collecting; and eroticism, artifice and Orientalism in Rococo art and architecture.


Introduces the principal arts and aesthetic issues of the 19th and 20th centuries from the French Revolution to World War II. Studies artists such as David, Turner, Monet, and Picasso, as well as movements such as Romanticism, Impressionism, and Surrealism, stressing continuities beneath apparent differences of approach. Regular museum sessions at the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou.


Investigates economic and financial aspects of art over several historical periods. Examines painting, sculpture, drawing, and decorative arts as marketable products, analyzing them from the perspective of patrons, collectors, investors, and speculators. Studies artists as entrepreneurs. Assesses diverse functions and forms of influence exercised by art market specialists: critics, journalists, public officials, auctioneers, museum professionals, experts, and dealers.


The aim of this course is to introduce students to the multifaceted and dynamic character of Islamic art by focusing on the highest achievements of the major dynasties. The time frame will span over one thousand years and, geographically, will cover lands from the western Mediterranean to the Indian subcontinent. Lectures will concentrate on the most representative monuments and works of art from each period. After examining the distinguishing features of the art and architecture of the principal dynasties, their salient characteristics and their greatest contributions to Islamic art as a whole, it should become evident that the field is both full of striking diversity and overall unity.


This course is designed to introduce students to the history and practice of curating artworks. “Museums, like asylum and jails, have wards and cells — in other words, neutral rooms called ‘galleries.’” Writing these words in the 1970s, the artist Robert Smithson expressed sharply the struggle of many 20th century artists with curatorial settings. From the private cabinet of curiosities to the Academic Salons, from experimental art galleries to large museums and the use of exhibitions themselves as an artistic medium, curatorial practices never ceased to shape our “understanding” and appreciation of artworks. Relying on historical and theoretical texts, on-site visits (museums and art galleries) and a dialogue with museum professionals, the class is focused on the creation of a virtual exhibition by the students, taking into account all aspects of the project from its conception to its realization. This course has a course fee included.

This is a parallel course offered at the 2000-level and 3000-level. While the assignments are similar at both levels, the written component of the final project goes up from 25 000 to 35 000 characters (space included) and an upper-level degree of precision in the critical apparatus of the final project (research; bibliography, theoretical and methodological pertinence) is expected. Faculty approval is required for AH3030.


Topics will vary every semester