Renaissance Prints

Instructor: Helena Szepe

The introduction of exactly reproducible two-dimensional images to Europe in the fifteenth century was a watershed in Western visual culture. In this class we will explore the origins of prints in Europe, and the effect of the multiplication of images on the visual arts and mentalities of the West. Students will write a seminar paper on one, or a set of, numerous Renaissance prints in local collections, in which they will argue a thesis related to one of a number of methodological and interpretive issues.

Questions to be explored include: What are the effects of multiples on notions of an original and originality? How does the practical separation of the idea of the image and its execution in many prints affect the status of artists and craftsmen? What are the practical and psychological effects of a proliferation of manufactured images? What is the relationship between multiples, pornography, and censorship in the period? What were the consequences for science and other fields of inquiry?

Prerequisites: Renaissance Art or consent of instructor.

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