Special Study: The Renaissance and Baroque Portrait in Europe

Please note: this is archived course information from 2022 for ARTHIST 726.


This course explores the changing face of portraiture in European courts and city centres during the Renaissance and Baroque. Focus will be on the courts of Milan, London, Brussels, Paris and Madrid, and major artists will include Leonardo, Holbein, Rubens, Titian and Velazquez.

In each centre, a select number of portraits will be examined with a view to understanding the motivations, status, taste and interests of the sitter and/or patron. Attention will also be given to the individual style, concerns and approach of the artist, which will be highlighted through comparisons to lesser known contemporaries such as Lorenzo di Credi, Alonso Sanchez Coello, Juan Pantoja de la Cruz, and Frans Pourbus.
Throughout the course, importance will be placed on situating the artworks within their original socio-political, religious and spatial frameworks. Issues of proximity, access and audience will be discussed, and students will be encouraged to consider where artworks were displayed, what objects were placed nearby, who would have seen them, and how they would have been received and understood.
Students will become conversant with a range of art historical methodologies including connoisseurship studies, gender and agency, iconographical analysis, and spatial and reception theories.

Availability 2022

Not taught in 2022




ARTHIST 726: 15 points