History of Art 8001: The Crucifix and Crucifixion in a Global Art History

Body

HISTORY OF ART 8001: THE CRUCIFIX AND CRUCIFIXION IN A GLOBAL ART HISTORY

Professor Karl Whittington

This seminar tracks the paradigmatic image in Christian art – Christ on the Cross – from the earliest years of Christianity to the contemporary world. Using the crucifixion as a case study for the role of artworks in acts of devotion, conversion, colonialism, and cultural contact and exchange, we will look at contexts both within Europe and the Mediterranean world (Italy, Germany, France, England) and also in Latin America (Early Modern Mexico and Peru), North America (Native American and First Nations), East Asia (Early Modern China and Goa and Yuan-Dynasty Inner Mongolia), and Africa (Kongo and Ethiopia). We will look at both sculpted crucifixes in media such as wood, stone, metal, and terra cotta and at two-dimensional media such as oil, tempera, encaustic, mosaic, parchment, paper, and prints, to explore the ways in which material choices shift the meaning and reception of the crucifixion. The course will consider issues such as the representation of the body, the shifting functions of crucifixion imagery (devotional, processional, liturgical, aesthetic), its interactions with viewers both mental and physical, and its intersection with issues such as race, gender, and sexuality. Finally, we will end with the contemporary world, exploring the ways in which contemporary artists across the world have harnessed and manipulated the crucifixion in their own paintings, films, performances, and sculptures.

SPRING 2021
Class # 33149

INSTRUCTION MODE: IN PERSON

THURSDAYS 2:15 - 5:00