ARTISTIC AND CULTURAL CROSS-CURRENTS
This course will explore how the cultural changes that followed in the wake of military conquest, civil strife and economic upheavals altered the direction of Western art in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are discussed first. The opening of Japan to the West in the 1850s brought the woodblock prints of Hiroshige to Paris, opening the eyes of Gauguin, Toulouse Lautrec and their avant-garde colleagues to new ways of seeing. The rapid expansion of Islam from the seventh century onwards enriched not only the art and architecture of the West, but also made important contributions to science, mathematics and linguistics. During the eighteenth century the growth of the Russian Empire had a profound effect on Malevich, Chagall and Rodchenko. The final lecture discusses how industrialisation led William Morris to initiate the Arts and Crafts Movement which blossomed into an elegant ‘New Art’.
1. Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and the conquistadors
2. Hokusai, Paris and The Great Wave
3. Islam’s Golden Age and the West
4. Kazimir Malevich, Marc Chagall and the Russian Bear
5. William Morris and the flowering of Art Nouveau