ARTH 2000 - Northern Renaissance Art and Visual Culture II

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

This course examines Renaissance art and visual culture outside of Italy in Northern Europe, notably the 'Low Countries' and Germany in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Northern Renaissance artists such as Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Durer, Hans Holbein the Younger, and Lucas Cranach the Elder not only innovated in materials and techniques from oil painting to printmaking, but also devised novel approaches to religious themes, portraiture, and the representation of the nude body. They made a unique contribution to the classical ideal and humanist discourse that framed the Italian Renaissance. The course empowers students with fundamental skills for interpreting the material richness and visual complexity of diverse images and objects made and consumed within the dynamic social, political, economic, and religious contexts of the Northern Renaissance centred on the rise of mercantile mobility, cultural exchange with Italy, and Protestant Reformation.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ARTH 2000
    Course Northern Renaissance Art and Visual Culture II
    Coordinating Unit Art History
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level 1 undergraduate study
    Course Description This course examines Renaissance art and visual culture outside of Italy in Northern Europe, notably the 'Low Countries' and Germany in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Northern Renaissance artists such as Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Durer, Hans Holbein the Younger, and Lucas Cranach the Elder not only innovated in materials and techniques from oil painting to printmaking, but also devised novel approaches to religious themes, portraiture, and the representation of the nude body. They made a unique contribution to the classical ideal and humanist discourse that framed the Italian Renaissance. The course empowers students with fundamental skills for interpreting the material richness and visual complexity of diverse images and objects made and consumed within the dynamic social, political, economic, and religious contexts of the Northern Renaissance centred on the rise of mercantile mobility, cultural exchange with Italy, and Protestant Reformation.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Lisa Mansfield

    Dr Lisa Mansfield
    Office: Napier 511
    Telephone: 83135755
    Staff profile:

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:
    1 Knowledge of the art and visual culture produced and commissioned by the major artists and patrons of the Northern Renaissance period of art history.
    2 Understanding of key methods and theories pertinent to the study of Northern Renaissance art and visual culture.
    3 Competent visual analysis skills for examining the formal elements of works of art.
    4 Competent visual literacy skills for using images and objects as valuable forms of historical evidence.
    5 Competent research skills for evaluating and synthesising scholarly perspectives in both primary and secondary sources.
    6 The ability to work independently to meet timelines and cooperatively as part of small groups to solve art historical problems creatively.
    7 Effective communication skills within the discipline of art history and related professional contexts.
    8 Proficient use of appropriate contemporary technologies.
    9 Commitment to an academically rigorous and reflective approach to learning, teaching and research, including intellectual honesty and respect.
    10 Awareness of the ethical, social and cultural implications of art historical enquiry within a global context concerning research standards and practices of museums and galleries.
    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    A Course Reader, containing the texts that need to be read prior to each tutorial discussion, will be available for purchase online. Login to Unified and click on the Online Shop icon in the left hand side of the Home page.

    Recommended Resources
    There is no textbook for this course. The following books offer useful surveys of Northern Renaissance art and visual culture:

    Chipps Smith, Jeffery. The Northern Renaissance. London: Phaidon Press, 2004.

    Nash, Susie. Northern Renaissance Art. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

    Online Learning
    The course has a website, accessible through MyUni. Please consult it regularly for announcements, lecture recordings and images, and additional resources. Students are also encouraged to submit general questions about the course to the Discussion Board.

    The University has access to a number of academic journals that have full text articles available online. To locate articles in these journals go to the Databases tab on the Barr Smith Library home page and click on Art History.

    The following image databases should be used to search and study works of art required for assessment tasks: The Google Art Project, Artstor, World Gallery of Art (WGA), museum and gallery websites.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course introduces fundamental methods and theories used in the Discipline of Art History. Lectures for the course are chronologically organised from 1400-1600 and focused on the application of key interpretative contexts for shedding light on the making and meaning of Northern Renaissance art and visual culture. This includes an introduction to a range of social, cultural, political, artistic (image and identity of artists, input of patrons, conservation and scientific analysis of material culture), religious (pre- and post-Reformation Europe), and economic interpretative perspectives in early modern Europe. The tutorials consist of case studies (on a key issue or idea) that complements the weekly content covered in lectures in terms of depth rather than breadth. Students are partnered with a tutorial discussion leader (or group of 3) at the beginning of semester and allocated a tutorial case study to prepare a joint presentation of the pertinent visual material and a review of the prescribed reading (in the course reader). The discussion leaders also need to complete additional reading for their particular case study and prepare a minimum of two questions to stimulate small and large group discussion about the weekly topic along with a collaborative statement to be posted on MyUni. Feedback is given to the students within one week of their tutorial presentation. The course also requires students to utilise or develop relevant IT skills, such as effective PowerPoint presentations for tutorial presentations as well as online and hard-copy image catalogues as part of the major research project in a virtual gallery on PowerPoint on MyUni.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The time commitment for this course is a standard minimum 156 hours over the semester. This includes 3 hours formal contact time attending lectures (2 hours per week) and tutorials (1 hour per week) on campus as well as individual study to complete reading, research and writing. Therefore, it is expected that students will spend three contact hours attending lecturers and tutorials on campus and a minimum of seven hours in individual study per week, though this may vary for individual circumstances. 
    Learning Activities Summary
    Week Lecture Tutorial
    Week 1 Northern Renaissance Art & Visual Culture

    Court art: the Dukes of Burgundy
    No tutorial
    Week 2 Artists & patrons (1400-1500)
    Artists & patrons (1500-1600)
    Introduction to course
    Week 3 Materials & techniques:
    panel painting & wood sculpture

    Materials & techniques: printmaking
    Week 4 Art & religion: public altarpieces

    Art & religion: private devotional images
    Miraculous childbirth
    Week 5 Art & Reformation

    Art & iconoclasm
    Week 6 Image & identity: portraiture (1400-1500)

    Image & identity: portraiture (1500-1600)
    Portrait of a goldsmith
    Week 7 From collaboration to individual genius

    Albrecht Dürer's changing view of himself
    Week 8 Dürer as painter

    Dürer as printmaker
    Week 9 The development of landscape imagery

    Scenes of daily life
    The Garden of Earthly Delights
    Week 10 The origins of still life painting
    Representations of the naked body
    Cranach's women
    Week 11 Death & disaster

    Big bad wolf: representations of monsters
    Fears of flying & witchcraft
    Week 12 From Northern Renaissance to Northern Baroque

    No lecture
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Value Word Lenth Due Date Learning Objectives
    Tutorial attendance  10% Not applicable Not applicable 1, 3, 5, 6
    Collaborative tutorial presentation  10% Weeks 4-11 Weeks 4-11 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7
    Part A. Catalogue entry  30% Due before mid-semester break Due before mid-semester break 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7
    Part B. Visual context  10% Due after mid-semester break Due after mid-semester break 1, 3, 4, 7
    Part B. Exhibition catalogue  40% Due week 14 Due week 14 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Assessment Related Requirements
    All of the assessment components in 5.1 are considered 'hurdle requirements', and must be submitted in order to pass the course. No pass mark/grade will be given to any student who does not complete All of the above tasks.
    Assessment Detail
    Detailed instructions for all assessment components will be posted on MyUni.

    Tutorial attendance

    Collaborative tutorial presentation
    10 %
    Week 4-11 (continuous)

    Task description
    You will be allocated a discussion leader partner/s (with no more than 3 in a group) in week 2 of semester (and no later than week 3) for topics in weeks 4-11. Discussion leaders are expected to:
    · Submit a collaborative statement about the tutorial topic on the discussion board using a Wiki in MyUni at least one day before the tutorial (minimum 500 words)
    · Prepare a group PowerPoint presentation for use in the tutorial
    · Present an informed presentation on the image and subject of the reading addressing the following questions:
    o What is the subject of the article and why should anyone care to read and discuss it?
    o What are the methods used to address the issue (identify the strategy or methodological approach used by the author to the material)?
    o What conclusions are reached (what do we learn from the study)?
    o What is your critical reaction to the article (did the article make sense, are the conclusions valid, what did the author ignore, and could there have been an alternative conclusion?)
    · All three tasks are due for final submission one week after the tutorial


    Part A. Catalogue entry
    30 %
    1,000 words
    Due before the mid-semester break
    Task description
    1) Search for a reproduction of one work of art (painting, sculpture or print) by a Northern Renaissance artist from the list posted on MyUni via the following databases: Google Art Project, Web Gallery of Art or ArtStor
    2) Add this primary image to a PowerPoint presentation with the title 'My virtual gallery' to be submitted via the Journal on MyUni.
    3) Write a 1,000 word visual analysis (catalogue entry) of your selected image focused on the three key areas of composition, style and iconography.

    In addition to viewing the image (reproduction of your selected work of art) closely in books and online databases, you are permitted to use a small number of the suggest reference sources below to inform your work (and footnote these texts appropriately). All of these sources will be available on Reserve or in the Reference collection of the Barr Smith Library:

    · D’Alleva, Anne, How to Write Art History, London: Laurence King Publishing, 2006
    · Barnet, Sylvan, A Short Guide to Writing About Art, New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2010.
    · Carr-Gomm, Sarah, Dictionary of Symbols in Art: the illustrated key to western painting and sculpture, London: Duncan Baird, 2000.
    · Chilvers, Ian (ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists, Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. [Also available electronically via the Barr Smith Library catalogue]
    · Hall, James, Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art, Boulder: Westview Press, 2008. [Also available electronically via the Barr Smith library catalogue].
    · Lucie-Smith, Edward, The Thames and Hudson Dictionary of Art Terms, London: Thames and Hudson, 2003.
    · Murray, Peter and Linda Murray, The Penguin Dictionary of Art and Artists, London; New York: Penguin Books, 1989.
    · Oxford Art Online, Oxford University Press, 2007. [Available electronically via the Barr Smith Library catalogue].

    Part B. Constructing visual contexts
    500 words
    Due after the mid-semester break

    Task description
    You are required to read about your artist and related artists (from the list of sources provided in a starter bibliography posted on MyUni). You should then pick a minimum of 6 comparative works of art (including at least two by your artist and two by other artists) and add them to your own virtual gallery PowerPoint. The additional images must include:

    · At least one work of art by the same artist that you believe shows strong stylistic similarities to your primary image;
    · At least one work by the same artist that you believe shows significant stylistic differences or changes from your primary image;
    · At least two works by other artist(s) who you believe can be related in some fashion to your artist (or artists who worked around the same time and place as your artist, and may have had some influence on your artist, or who may have been influenced by your artist);
    · At least two works that feature striking similarities in subject matter or theme with your primary image

    While the nature of the comparative works you choose will depend entirely on your choice of primary image, they should all date within the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries. Most of these comparative works will be from northern Europe, but you may also include one or two Italian Renaissance works of art for comparative reference. You should choose works of art that you believe will, by their similarities or differences to your primary image, help the viewer to understand:

    · How your chosen work is related visually to other works by the same artist or works by related artists
    · The nature of the work's subject matter, and the kind of meaning it conveys. Once you have placed the 6 comparative works in your folder, I will look at them, make suggestions, and possibly add a work or two for your consideration.
    You are also required to submit a 500 word statement to explain the rationale for your selection of comparative works.

    Part C. Exhibition catalogue essay
    Due in week 14
    2,500 words

    Your final project requires you to consider the feedback you have received for the preceding tasks in Parts A and B and if necessary adjust your choices of comparative works accordingly. You are then required to complete a final research project consisting of the following 6 components (and may integrate previously completed aspects of Part A and B as required):

    1) Revised 1,000 word visual analysis of your primary image (addressing feedback received on Part A).

    2) For each one of your 6 comparative works, write a brief explanation of why you chose each work, and how it is related to your primary image.

    3) A list of the most important social, economic, religious, and political developments that occurred around the time your primary image was created. You should also consider which of these developments might have had a direct impact on what you can see in the work.

    4) A list of events in the lives of the artist or patron (if known) of your primary image that might have had a direct impact on the work's existence or appearance.

    5) A brief conclusion on the making and meaning of your primary image.

    6) A bibliography of at least 10 scholarly sources (with no more than 2 of them web-based from the internet) that you consulted during your work on the project.

    Please use footnotes or endnotes to acknowledge all sources (academic books, journal articles and websites) used to inform your research project. 
    In addition to setting up a PowerPoint on a Journal on MyUni to develop your project over the semester, all written assignments (unless otherwise advised) are to be submitted electronically via MyUni only - this is a two-step process. The assignment needs to be electronically submitted for marking via the ‘Assignments’ link in the course menu. It then needs to be submitted separately to Turnitin, which is also done via the MyUni site.

    You will be asked to acknowledge understanding of the policies on plagiarism when submitting, hence no cover sheet is required. You are not required to submit a hard-copy of your assignments to your tutor or the School office.

    Essays must be submitted by the due date - the late submission penalty is 2% per working day. For example, if the research essay (40%) was awarded 80 and submitted three working days late, it would receive a 6% penalty and be awarded a mark of 74 (minus 6 marks).

    Students wishing to apply for extensions of more than 2 days for assessment components worth more than 20% for reasons of health or compassion must submit the relevant form to the School of History & Politics office on level 4 of the Napier Building:  

    · Student submits documentation to the School at least 5 business days before the due date or within 5 days of the condition
    · Student details are added to local school spreadsheet
    · Coordinator signs form and records new extension date
    · Office notifies student of new extension date
    · Paperwork filed in office

    All other extension requests for assessment tasks worth 20% or less must contact their tutor via email before the due date explaining why the extension is necessary and stipulating the period of extra time required. Requests over one week will require supporting documentation.

    Extensions will not be granted retrospectively, except in medical emergencies or on the advice of the Disability Office.

    Students registered with the Disability Office are exempt from the above extension processes, but must submit their Disability Action Plan (DAP) to the Course Coordinator before assessment components are due to discuss their specific requirements.

    Feedback for all written work will be returned electronically or via hard copy as soon as possible (1-3 weeks for the tutorial and research essays respectively, and in week 6 the research essay plan and bibliography). The visual tests will not be returned. If you have any questions about the assessment of your work please contact the Course Coordinator. 
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

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    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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