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ARTH 228 — Art of the Bible: Through the Eyes of the Great Masters

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Wednesdays
Course Format: On-campus course
Duration: 9 weeks
Date(s): Oct 4—Dec 6
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm
Drop Deadline: Oct 17
Units: 2
Tuition: $480
Instructor(s): Patrick Hunt
Status: Closed
Please Note: No class on November 22
On-campus course
7:00—9:05 pm
Oct 4—Dec 6
9 weeks
Drop By
Oct 17
2 Units
Patrick Hunt
Please Note: No class on November 22
How profoundly has the Bible influenced art history? Since Constantine brought Judeo-Christian art out from the catacombs and made it acceptable, Western art has drawn on biblical texts again and again. Whether commissioned by churches and clergy or devout individuals, or inspired by personal devotion, great masters visually recreated the Bible in their idiosyncratic interpretations. In this course, we will survey major artists who illustrated biblical texts and their most important narratives. Masters to be discussed range from Early Christian artists to Giotto, da Vinci, Botticelli, Mantegna, Raphael, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt, and many others.

Along the way, we will read the major biblical texts illustrated by these artists and learn to visually identify essential literary narratives from the Old and New Testaments. We will also see how Apocryphal biblical personae such as Judith, Tobit, and Susannah were needed to fill in narrative gaps. Most of all, we will be delightfully astonished by how the rich imaginations of the great masters responded to the important literature of the Bible.

Patrick Hunt, Former Director, Stanford Alpine Archaeology Project

Patrick Hunt has taught at Stanford since 1993. He is the author of twenty books, including Caravaggio (Life & Times), Ten Discoveries That Rewrote History, When Empires Clash, and Hannibal. He is an associate at UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies and a research associate in archeoethnobotany at the Institute for EthnoMedicine. Hunt’s archaeology research has been sponsored by the National Geographic Society. He received a PhD from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Patrick Hunt, Puer Natus Est: Art of Christmas (ISBN 978-1609275204)
(Recommended) Peter and Linda Murray, The Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art (ISBN 978-0199695102)
(Recommended) Patrick Hunt, Caravaggio (Life & Times), 2nd Edition (ISBN 978-1908323231)