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AH4208   The Portrait in Western Art

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 30

ECTS credits : 15

Level : SCQF level 10

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: 9.00 am - 11.00 am Thu (lecture) and either 3.00 pm or 4.00 pm (seminar)

Studying portraiture means studying representations of human faces. Most of the time, these are faces of people who lived long ago, and their portraits give us access to the way they looked, as well as the way they wanted to represent themselves to society. Yet portraits are also often highly complex constructions designed by major artists; as Leonardo had it, every painter paints himself. So what exactly is it that a portrait portrays? Why did people commission their portraits, and what were they used for? What knowledge did people bring to looking at portraits? What did it mean for an artist to paint or sculpt a 'true likeness'? With a focus on the early modern period, yet including some excursions to both earlier and later periods, this module will address the above questions and more, approaching portraiture from a wide range of perspectives as well as focusing on some of the major practitioners and commissioners of the genre.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Before taking this module you must pass AH2001 and pass AH2002

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 2-hour lecture, 1 x 1-hour seminar (x 10 weeks) 2 x tutor's office hour (x 12 weeks), fieldtrip - 8 hours

Scheduled learning hours: 65

Guided independent study hours: 235

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: Coursework = 100%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 0%
Coursework: 100%

Re-assessment: 1 x Written Assignment to be agreed by the Board of Examiners


Module coordinator: Dr E J M van Kessel
Module teaching staff: Dr Elsje van Kessel