Masterpieces of Western Art: Renaissance to the Present

This course will examine a number of artistic masterpieces from the Western tradition, ranging from medieval Byzantine icons to contemporary installation art. We will delve deeply into each of the selected artworks, simultaneously examining their extraordinary uniqueness and their capacity to represent an entire cultural epoch, both aesthetically and conceptually. Along the way we will ask what makes these works “masterpieces” and debate how and why they came to form the Western artistic “canon.”

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