ARTH-428 Bosch, Bruegel, and Life
Fall for 2017-2018
Bosch, Bruegel, and Life

This seminar investigates the work and careers of two of the most original and influential artists of the Renaissance: Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450-1516) and Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525-1569). Although they worked in different generations and cities, they have often been regarded in light of each other. In his own time, Bruegel was even referred to as the “second Bosch.” Both artists represented humanity, daily life, and the world itself in unprecedented ways. As it explores the breadth and variety of their careers, this seminar will focus especially on how Bosch and Bruegel developed new ways not merely to observe daily life, but also to ponder and perhaps improve it. As we address the art itself and its richly varied history of reception and interpretation, we will also consider the enduring vitality of these paintings, prints, and drawings as instruments of reflection in our own time. International exhibitions, symposia, and new publications marking the quincentennial of Bosch's death (1516) make 2016 a particularly ripe time to consider him.

Class is based chiefly on discussion, including student reports on work in progress.
Two short papers, one term paper.
We will visit the National Gallery of Art for one or two class meetings.

Basic texts:
Laurinda Dixon, Bosch. London: Phaidon, 2003.
Walter Gibson, Bruegel. London: Thames and Hudson, 1985.

Additional readings (primary sources and secondary scholarship) will be supplied on Blackboard.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: ARTH junior or senior or by permission
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