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Diversity in European Art 15th-18th centuries
Beyond our textbook, art historians have investigated the issues of race, class, and gender in European and Latin American art of the 15th through 18th centuries. What was the social position of black Africans and indigenous peoples during the Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical periods? This assignment will focus on exploring this question based on reading scholarly texts (such as journal articles, exhibition catalog essays, or a book chapter).
You will practice critical thinking and writing skills when reading the article and writing your response paper.
Choose 1 of the 3 text selections below. Write a 2-page critical response paper summarizing the author’s argument and your response to the critical questions listed under the article. Your paper should be in an essay format with an introduction and a conclusion and not just a series of answers to the questions 1-5. Think about the key points of the author’s argument. Describe the topic in a clear and concise manner. Read critically and consider the evidence given by the author. Do you find their argument persuasive? Strongly subjective? Do you still have questions?
If you have DSPS accommodations for text-to-speech software or alternate text, and cannot use the PDFs below, please contact me for links to texts in an online format from the LBCC Library Databases.
CRITERIA FOR SUCCESS:
This written assignment will be evaluated based on your summary of the article evidence and your ability to explain and evaluate significant concepts about the art and its history, as well as your own ideas.
TEXTS and QUESTIONS
Magali M. Carrera, “The Faces and Bodies of Eighteenth-Century Metropolitan Mexico, An Overview of Social Context,” in Imagining Identity in New Spain: Race, Lineage, and the Colonial Body in Portraiture and Casta Paintings (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2003), 22-43.
1. Explain what casta paintings are and how they functioned in 18th century New Spain.
2. How does author Magali Carrera explain the status of castas and elites?
3. Describe one of the casta paintings by Miguel Cabrera and the changes in 18th century Mexico that are the historical context.
4. What evidence does Carrera give to support her conclusions? Why are they persuasive or why are they not?
5. How are the issues of identity raised in the article similar or different than those experienced today? Give an example in your answer.
Kate Lowe, “The Lives of African Slaves and People of African Descent in Renaissance Europe,” in Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe exh. cat. (Baltimore: The Walters Art Museum, 2012), 13-33.
1. Who were slaves in Renaissance Europe and where did they come from?
2. What were the conditions of slavery at that time?
3. Author Kate Lowe states her goal is to use visual representations and records to better reconstruct the lives of Africans in Renaissance Europe. Describe how Africans are portrayed in one of the following art works and what the article tells us about their lives in this historical context.
Carpaccio, Hunting at the Lagoon, 1490-95
Pietro Tacca, Figure of a Slave from the Monumenti dei Quattro Mori, 1626
Gozzoli, Journey of the Magi, 1459-62
4. Does Lowe make a convincing argument? Why or why not?
5. How does the legacy of slavery relate to current issues in American life? Give an example in your answer.
Kate Lowe, “Visual Representations of the Elite: African Ambassadors and Rulers in Renaissance Europe,” in Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe exh. cat. (Baltimore: The Walters Art Museum, 2012), 99-115.
1. What was the historical context of diplomatic relations between Africa and Europe?
2. Do these appear to be truthful accounts? How do they compare to other accounts of African history? http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/features/storyofafrica/10chapter2.shtml (Links to an external site.)
3. Describe one of the following art works and the role of the ambassador or ruler in its historical context.
Caporale, Antonio Manuel Marquis of Ne-Vunda, 1629
Rubens, Mulay Ahmad, c. 1609
Galque, Francisco de Arobe with his Sons, 1599
4. Does Lowe make a convincing argument about Europeans’ representation of elite Africans? Why or why not?
5. How are the issues of racial identity raised in the article similar or different than those experienced today? Give an example in your answer.
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