Renaissance was a time period coined in the 19th century and means “rebirth” or “to be reborn”. As the 19th century progessed, rising consciousness of the rights of man plus the social influence of the Industrial Revolution brought about some artists to move away from idealistic or romantic topics in favour of more mundane topics, depicted in a extra true-life, model of naturalism This new focus (to some extent anticipated by William Hogarth within the 18th century, see English Figurative Painting ) was exemplified by the Realism model which emerged in France in the course of the 1840s, earlier than spreading throughout Europe.
We dwell in an more and more visual tradition, awash with photographs in an increasing range of media – from portray and sculpture to photography, tv, film, video and the internet – and public and private settings – from the gallery and metropolis street to the courtroom, the hospital, and the lecture corridor.
Obligatory and non-obligatory modules will introduce key themes and interpretive methods, contemplate the intentions and identities of artists, and examine the manufacturing and evaluation of art in different historic, geographical and cultural contexts.
Nor will a study of the artist’s life and writings reveal them, for, though we might readily acknowledge and analyse the artist’s specific brilliance in formulating a collection of visible photographs in color, the end result of any individual creative act is greater than the sum of the artist’s conscious intentions.
If the historical past of artwork has encouraged a division of normal history into phases or intervals, specialised studies of art appear to offer few concrete insights into the larger social and political elements, or the prevailing day-to-day attitudes and methods of life, which may characterise such intervals.