Art, Science and Technology 58-308/201/301 honors
Dr. Liana Cheney


Art, Science & Technology image

Syllabus of Lectures


COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course will be concerned with the dialogue between art and science, image making and scientific inquiry, in particular in the life, work and times of Leonardo da Vinci. From Filippo Brunelleschi's first perspective experiments to Leonardo da Vinci's prolonged study of human anatomy and optics, Renaissance artists exhibited unprecedented interest in the scientific nature of light, color, space, and form as they affected artistic creativity. A no other time in history were technology, science and art so closely interconnected. Lectures and class discussions will focus on the achievements of Italian artists of the 15th and 16th centuries as they attempted to translate their new scientific understanding of the world.

ORGANIZATION: Although class discussion is strongly encouraged, this is primarily a lecture course based upon the visual content of works of art presented by way of projected slides. Attendance is highly recommended for every class meeting. Students are responsible for the content of all lectures and assigned reading materials.

CLASS COMPORTMENT: Since this a professional presentation at the university level, you are not permitted to eat or drink during class lectures and discussion. Disabled students must see me on the first day of class to accommodate their individual needs.

OFFICE HOURS: Monday-Wednesday 4:00-6:00 p.m., Friday 12:00-1:00 p.m. or by appointment. My office is in Coburn Hall, Room 201

-Kenneth Clark, Leonardo da Vinci. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1982 or
-Martin Kemp, Kenneth Clark's Leonardo da Vinci. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
-Martin Kemp, The Science of Art. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990.

-Allen G. Debus, Man and Nature in the Renaissance. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1978.
-Michael Kubovy, The Psychology of Perspective in Renaissance Art. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
-L. Reti, The Unknown Leonardo. New York: McGraw Hill, 1990.
-Warren Kenton, Astrology Celestial Mirror. London: Thames & Hudson, 1990.
-M. Baxandall, Paintings and Experience in 15th Century Italy. New York: Oxford University Press, 1972.
-Liana Cheney, Botticelli's Neoplatonic Images. Potomac, MD: Studia Humanistica, 1993.
-Elizabeth Sears, The Ages of Man. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986.
-James M. Lattis, Between Copernicus and Galileo. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
-Bernard Schutz, Art and Anatomy in Renaissance Italy. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Research Press, 1985.
-William Barclay Parsons, Engineers and Engineering in the Renaissance. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1968.

All additional reading assignments are on the Reserve Section of the O'Leary Library, South Campus.

ATTENDANCE: Class attendance is required. Exams are based on class lectures and discussion of visual and historical material.

EXAMINATIONS: There will be three (2) fifteen-minute quizzes based on slide identification (name of the artist, title of the work, style and approximate date) on September 30, and November 16. These quizzes will be given at the beginning of the lecture and they will be selected from the illustrations found in your text: H. W. Janson, History of Art and class lectures. In addition, there will be two Examinations on October 26 and November 23. This examination will be based on slide comparisons, essays and definition of terms. And, a Final Exam (date to be announced) will be based on material discussed from the Mid-Term Exam on. The format will be the same as the Mid-Term Exam. Examinations are based on specific material covered in class and on the required readings. Examinations missed without prior written excuse from the instructor or written excuse for medical or other emergencies cannot be made up. No electronic mail, fax, telephone, or voice mail is acceptable.

WRITTEN ASSIGNMENT: On Nov. 2 notify me of your written assignment topic. The paper will be due on Dec 7. All late papers will be penalized. The paper should be approximately 3 to 4 pages long, double spaced and typed with illustrations. Suggested topics will be given at the beginning of the semester, along with a general instruction sheet for form of term papers. The computerized typing must be as follow: accepted fonts New York, Geneva, Courier, Palatino and Bookman; only 12 points in character; single space between paragraph, double space between lines; page margins one (1) inch all around. Papers written in any other format are not acceptable. The written assignment will be graded on form as well as content so that spelling, punctuation, grammar, and syntax are to be considered with some care. All work done outside of class must be type written or computer printed, double spaced. Suggested topics will be given at the beginning of the semester, along with a general instruction sheet for typing the paper.

NOTE ON PLAGIARISM: Be careful never to copy directly or directly adapt from another author without crediting the source. General sources must be listed in a bibliography; any direct quotation or paraphrase must be footnoted. Any unacknowledged copying will receive and F for the course.

HANDOUTS: A series of xeroxed materials will be given out throughout the course in order to help you with your reading and writing assignments.

EVALUATION: The final exam will count 25% of your final semester grade, the paper will count also 25% of your final semester grade and the quizzes and examinations accumulatively will count 50% of your final semester grade.

MUSEUM VISITS: Students are individually responsible for visiting the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (both in Boston), the Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge), the Worcester Art Museum (Worcester), Whistler House Museum (Lowell), the Philips Academy Museum (Andover), and the Curry Museum.

OPTIONAL MUSEUM VISITS: Probably during the semester the Art History Club will sponsor some field trips to the Boston Museums. Also, there will be schedules of one or two trips to New York City, Worcester and, New Haven and Hartford, CT., and Washington, D.C. in order to visit some major exhibitions or museums. You will be encouraged to attend, but not penalized for not participating in these trips.

(N.B. Subject to change with a week of prior notice)

Sep. 30 - QUIZ I.
It consists of identifying visual material presented in class or included in H. W. Janson, History of Art. You will be required to identify the name of the artist (if known), the title of the art work, the style, and given an approximate date of the work.
Oct. 26 - EXAM I.
The examination will consist of single slide identification, slide comparisons, definition of terms and discussions on selected essays.
Nov. 2 -
Notify me of your brief paper topic.
Nov. 6 -
New York Field Trip (Saturday)
Nov. 16 - QUIZ II.
Same format as Quiz I.
Nov. 23 - EXAM II. S
ame format as Exam I.
Dec. 7 -
Final Exam will be announced at a later date. The final exam format will be the same as the Mid-Term Exam. It will not be cumulative, that is to say, you will be tested only on the new material covered from the Mid-Term Examination on, but you will be responsible for the assimilation of general concepts of art history discussed in the earlier session.

(N.B. Subject to change with a week of prior notice)

Sep. 9 - Introduction: scope of the course
Discussion on What is Art History?
Principles of Art: Definition of Terms; Iconography. The Artist's Profession.
Janson, History of Art, pp. 1-17.

Sep. 14 - Prehistoric Art: Magic Rituals
Janson, Chapter One.

Sept. 16 - Reading Day

Sep. 23 - Egyptian Art

Janson, Chapter Two;
Wren, Chapter on Egyptian Art, Part II

Sep. 28-30 - Ancient Near East, Mesopotamian Art
Janson, Chapter Three.
Wren, Chapter on Ancient Near East, Part II

Sep. 30 - Quiz I

Oct. 5 - Aegean Art

Janson, Chapter Four;
Wren, Chapter on Aegean Art, Part III

Oct. 7-14 - Greek Art: Pre-classical & Classical
Janson, Chapter Five;
Wren, Chapter on Archaic Period and the Fifth Century, Part IV

Oct. 19 - Greek Art: Hellenism
Janson, Chapter Five;
Wren, Chapter on Forth Century and Hellenism, Part IV

Oct. 21-26 - Etruscan & Roman Art
Janson, Chapters Six and Seven;
G.M.A. Richter, Verism in Roman Portraits (xeroxed material);
Wren, Chapter on Etruscan Art, Part V; Chapters on Roman Republic and Empire, Part VI

Oct. 26 - EXAM I

Oct. 28 - Museum Day

Nov. 2 - Early Christian Art

Janson, Chapter Eight;
Wren, Chapter on Early Christian, Part VII

Nov. 2 - Notify me of your paper topic

Nov. 4-9 - Byzantine Art

Janson, Chapter Eight;
E. Ktzinger, The Hellenistic Heritage in Byzantine Art (xeroxed material);
Wren, Chapter on Byzantine, Part VII

Nov. 6 - New York Field Trip (Saturday)

Nov. 11 - NO CLASS, Veterans Day

Nov. 16 - Quiz II

Nov. 16 - Early Medieval Art
Janson, Chapter Two (Part Two);
Wren, Chapter on Migration Period, Part VIII

Nov. 18 - Carolingian and Ottonian Art
Janson, Chapter Two (Part Two);
Wren, Chapter on Carolingian and Ottonian Art, Part VIII

Nov. 23 - EXAM II

Nov. 25 - NO CLASS, Thanksgiving Day

Nov. 30 - Romanesque Art in France
Janson, Chapter Three (Part Two);
Wren, Chapter on Romanesque Art, Part IX

Dec. 2 - Romanesque Art in Italy
Janson, Chapter Three (Part Two)

Dec. 3 - Art History Symposium (Mythology in the Arts)

Dec. 7 - PAPER DUE

Dec. 7-9 - Gothic Art
Janson, Chapter Four (Part Two);
Wren, Chapter on Gothic Art, Part X