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Introduction to the Practice of Art History: Mughal India

ARHA 181
Spring 2007
Section: 01  
Course Cluster: Southern Asia Studies

This course introduces the practice of art history, through a sequence of six thematic units exploring and applying various methods that are central to the discipline. Each unit begins with critical reading of one or two key theoretical or methodological statements, and then continues through application to case studies drawn from the art of India's Mughal empire. Units include 1) techniques of visual description, 2) the concept of style and stylistic analysis, 3) the analysis of meaning in visual images (iconography and iconology), 4) models of time and the historical explanation of change, 5) architectural and historical analysis of buildings and their sites, and 6) historiographic assessment of debates and changing interpretations within art history. Each unit culminates in a writing exercise designed to give students structured experience in some of the various modes of art historical writing. No prior knowledge either of art history or of Mughal India is assumed; the course is appropriate both as an introduction to art history and to Mughal India, through its art. Founded in northern India in the early 1500s, the Mughal empire was one of the largest centralized states in the history of the pre-modern world. During the two centuries of their effective rule over much of the Indian subcontinent, the Mughal emperors and their subordinates were prolific patrons of painting and the arts of the book - which provide the primary focus and case studies for the first four thematic units - as well as of such architectural masterpieces as the Taj Mahal and related monuments - which are the focus of the last two units.

Essential Capabilities: Writing
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)(GSAS-MN)(GSAS)(MUST-MN)
Past Enrollment Probability: Not Available

Last Updated on MAY-26-2024
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