ARTH 500 Spring 2013 Clark Visiting Professor Seminar: The Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns

Cross Listed as ARTH400
The establishment of the French Royal Academies of Art and Architecture in the late 17th century unfolded as part of one of the most dramatic confrontations marking the history of Western aesthetics: the so-called Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns. Battle lines were drawn between those who heralded the achievements of the ancients and those who celebrated modern progress and superiority. To anyone championing the emulation of classical poetics, French author Charles Perrault retorted: "Learned antiquity in all its duration was never enlightened to equal our time." More than merely a literary debate, the skirmish instigated dialectical fireworks in the context of foundational theories--across media--of composition, expression, and architectonics. Poussinists raged against Rubenists, proponents of line rejected advocates of color, painters railed against sculptors, and theorists of the ideal body dismissed the sensual evocation of flesh. The director of the Academy of Architecture Francois Blondel posited the universal status of the classical orders (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian) and the eternal principles of harmonic ratio. Meanwhile, Charles Perrault's brother, Claude (an anatomist, architectural theorist and designer of the Louvre colonnade), held that beauty was determined by habit and convention. We will consider these polemics through objects, primary texts, and the secondary literature (Puttfarken, Lichtenstein, and Gerbino, among others).
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on reading responses, an oral presentation, and a seminar paper (15-20 pp)
Additional Info: not available for the Gaudino or Pass/Fail options
Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preference: preference enrollment limit: 16, with places for 8 undergraduate [ARTH 400] and 8 graduate students [ARTH 500] assured; preference given to senior Art History majors and Graduate Program students
Department Notes: satisfies the seminar requirement for the undergraduate Art History major
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division I
Other Attributes:
Enrollment Limit: 16
Expected Enrollment: 16
Class Number: 3814
ARTH500-01(S) SEM CVPS:Quarrel: Ancients&Moderns Division 1: Languages and the Arts Erika Naginski
R 1:10 PM-3:50 PM Clark Art Seminar Room 3814
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