This proseminar is designed for first-semester BA students who are studying history of art (Haupfach or Nebenfach), or for BA students in the history of art who were unable to take a proseminar in their first semester.

It is taught in English, although students can write their Hausarbeit in German.

The course will offer an introduction to the history of art for first-semester BA students through the lens of Early Modern visual culture. It will focus on developing skills of visual analysis (gaining familiarity with the techniques, genres, and subject matter of Early Modern works of art), historical analysis (learning to take context and audience into consideration, understanding social and cultural change over time), and critical analysis (identifying, analysing, and critiquing arguments presented in art-historical texts).

The proseminar will introduce key issues in the history of the visual arts in Europe during the Early modern period (c. 1400-1700), such the civic or religious functions of art, issues of setting/display, global and cross-cultural connections, the consideration of the viewer, the self-presentation of artists, patronage, and issues of gender and sexuality. Select examples of key works of art will be used to bring out these issues. Another aspect of the seminar will be the consideration of techniques used to create works of art in this period, aided by close looking in museums.

Although works in various media will be considered, the focus will be on painting, and in the proseminar we not be able to address the history of architecture.

Semester: WiTerm 2022/23