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Japanese Narrative Painting
ARHA 175
Spring 2024
Section: 01  

The narrative handscroll (emaki) has been a major form of Japanese pictorial art from its origins in the eighth century. Characterized by a long, horizontal format designed to be unrolled and viewed in shoulder-width sections, the narrative handscroll combines text and image in a linear progression of time and space. This course will cover the historical evolution of the handscroll format, its inter-relation with the written word, as well as its artistic roots and subsequent impact. Special attention will be paid to the translation of the handscroll's narrative modes and imagery to large-scale painting formats, such as six-panel folding screens (byobu) and hanging scrolls (kakejiku). Among the questions to be considered are: What are the representational and narrative strategies that painters of narrative scrolls employ to tell their stories? How do we define the relationships between written text and visual image, and what roles do they play? What were the viewing practices for narrative scrolls, and in what contexts were they viewed and read? Through an investigation of a dozen masterworks, including the "Illustrated Scrolls of the Tale of Genji," "Illustrated Legends of Mount Shigi," and "Life of Saint Ippen," the course will familiarize students with the major modes--literary, hagiographic, historical, didactic--of Japanese narrative painting from the 12th through 18th century, as well as the major interpretive methods used by art historians to search for "meaning" in the visual arts--authorship, connoisseurship, formalism, iconography/iconology, semiotics, feminism, and social art history.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARHA-MN)(ARHA)(ARST)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUN-22-2024
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