ARTH 47 — Great Artistic Rivals: From Renaissance to the Belle Époque
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Oct 1—Nov 19
Time: 7:00—9:05 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Oct 3
Instructor(s): Bruce Elliott
Over the centuries, what has inspired great art? A key catalyst has been competition—where the brilliance of a grand master drew forth the very best work from his challengers. Working chronologically, we will highlight the rivalry between the two foremost painters from eight different artistic eras. We will begin with the contest between Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, the leading masters of the Early Renaissance. Next, we will shift to Rome, where the youthful Raphael went up against the formidable Michelangelo during the High Renaissance. For the Venetian Renaissance, we will observe the upstart Tintoretto, il Furioso, challenging the magisterial Titian. In the Baroque period, we will consider how Rubens's vibrant energy rivaled Caravaggio's dramatic intensity. Shifting northward, we will contrast Vermeer's poignant stillness with Rembrandt's sensitive characterizations. For Enlightenment Rococo, we will compare Boucher's delectable sensuality with the virtuosity of Tiepolo's magnificent frescoes. The course will culminate in nineteenth-century Paris. Here, the dashing Romantic, Eugène Delacroix, tilted lances with the imperious Jean-Auguste Ingres, and later, the idiosyncratic Edgar Degas engaged in friendly rivalry with the grand master of the impressionist movement, Claude Monet. Class sessions will be a blend of lecture, visuals, and discussion as we conduct side-by-side considerations of the life and work of some of the most accomplished artists in the Western tradition.
Bruce Elliott, Independent ScholarBruce Elliott teaches courses in cultural history for lifelong-learning programs at Stanford, UC Berkeley, Sonoma State, and Dominican University. Illuminating lectures with extensive visuals, his courses highlight the dynamic interaction between historical developments and artistic expression. Elliott received a PhD in European history from UC Berkeley.
Textbooks for this course:
(Recommended) Michael Levey, From Giotto to Cezanne: A Concise History of Painting, 2nd Edition (ISBN 9780500200247)