Art is a product of its time and a result of the social, political, and religious context in which it was created. We explore the portrayal of women in art through history, and focus on several related topics: the role of women in the society and their possible role as artists, issues of gender identity, social class and race, plus the examination of women's absence in traditional scholarly views. We will go back to prehistoric cave art and Venus figurines, look at the idealized ancient goddesses and mythological characters from Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Classical world, study religious and secular images of women in the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque, and conclude with the changing role of women in contemporary art.
Course Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to:
- Explore the rich artistic and historical heritage of women through art
- Become familiar with major works of art featuring women, and with female artists
- Critically analyze the art: explain the art in terms of its historical, religious, and iconographic context
- Build a vocabulary with which one can explore artistic features and styles, as well as gender studies