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Van Gogh: Modernity, Utopia, and Nineteenth-Century Art
ARHA 239
Fall 2021
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: RL&L 239

This course will investigate in-depth the career of this immensely popular and influential artist. Van Gogh has been the subject of much myth making--both in his time and today--in which he appears as the quintessential mad genius whose passionate and tormented emotions become the stuff of art. This class goes beyond the media image of the artist and looks hard at his paintings, drawings, and letters, placing them in their respective artistic, literary, and historical contexts. Van Gogh engaged with social issues, above all the plight of peasants, artisans, the poor, and the marginalized--the most vulnerable members of society. He sought to give form to their experience in ways that were mediated by Dutch and French landscape painting and French naturalist literature. Upon moving to Paris, van Gogh absorbed the lessons of impressionist, neo-impressionist, and symbolist painters before moving to the South of France, where he created his most memorable works of sun-drenched fields, bar and café interiors, and common workers. Toward the end of his life, he increasingly conceived of art as a site for utopian projections and emotional solace. We shall study the work of this immensely productive artist and along the way develop art historical skills, including visual and textual analysis, historical and contextual interpretation, how to evaluate an artist's personal correspondence in relationship to his painted oeuvre, and independent research.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: SeminarGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA-MN)(ARHA)(ARST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 50% - 74%

Last Updated on JUN-25-2024
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