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2008/09 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF3152 Alchemy and Hermeticism in Renaissance Art

20 creditsClass Size: 38

Module manager: Dr Urszula Szulakowska
Email: U.S.Szulakowska@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2008/09

Pre-requisite qualifications

ARTF2000 or any level two ARTF coded module

This module is approved as an Elective

Objectives

On completion of this module, students should have acquired the ability to interpret primary documentation, both visual and textual, relating to Renaissance hermeticism and neoplatonism, specifically using resources such as the rare books and manuscripts located in Special Collections of the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds.

They should be able to analyse such documentation critically, using a variety of interpretative methods drawn from the history of art, studies in iconography/ iconology/ semiology, as well as from the history of science, philosophy and religion.

Students should have a sound understanding of key Renaissance hermetic and neoplatonic images and texts contextualised within their historical socio-political, cultural and religious contexts.

Skills outcomes
Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument.
Use of audio visual aids
Participation in group discussions
Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual visual information
Using bibliographies and databases

Verbal and written fluency in constructing a logical and coherent argument.
Use of audio visual aids
Participation in group discussions
Co-ordination and dissemination of a range of historical, contextual visual information
Using bibliographies and databases


Syllabus

The central concern of this particular module will be the visual and textual discourses of alchemy, hermeticism, neoplatonic cosmology and other esoteric philosophies and practices. Transmutation from a lower to a higher physical and spiritual level was the central purpose of the alchemists and alchemical theory developed into one of the most ubiquitous and influential symbolical systems of the Renaissance.

The module will examine critically the history of western hermeticism and its influence on artistic imagery. The inter-relation of art, religion and science will be studied within the changing intellectual and aesthetic paradigms of art in the Renaissance.

Students will make use of the exceptional deposit of primary Renaissance hermetic and esoteric materials in Special Collections in Brotherton Library, University of Leeds.

Since this is an area still much neglected by traditional art-history, there is great scope for original research and the development of innovative analytical methods.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture62.0012.00
Seminar52.0010.00
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

150 hours - class preparation including researching textual and visual materials/reading/preparation
28 hours - essay

Individual tutorials as required

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- attendance records
- group presentation
- individual tutorial

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 2,000-3,000 word essay50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/01/2010

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