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ARTH 233

Monumental Art of Japan, 1550-1900: Splendor & Angst

This course explores large-scale art and architecture produced in Japan from 1550 to 1900. These years encompass the last turbulent decades of warfare and the first two centuries of an era of peace, witnessing the construction (and destruction) of resplendent castles, villas, religious complexes, and their accompanying interior decoration. Powerful and pervasive artistic ateliers, which were responsible for the decoration of these structures, also left an indelible artistic stamp on the nation during this period. What role did such resplendent monuments play in the struggle for power, both politically and culturally? For whose eyes was such splendor intended and what hidden, underlying angst pervades these efforts? What aesthetic values are expressed and did they extend beyond the elite, ruling class? Students will consider these questions and more, ultimately investigating the larger role of "art" in society.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Arts and Humanities 1 course