ART 150 The Art of the Protest
For almost as long as the visual record exists, artists have used their creations to respond to war, conflict, and trauma within their contemporary society. Sumerians, Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans alike recorded their battles and victories and this practice continued through the early Christian era and the Middle Ages. By the time of the Renaissance, art commemorating and commenting on crisis and conflict was common in visual culture. With the advent of the printing press, such representation could be more widely disseminated, and began to function in the modern context of propaganda. This course will explore the evolution of artistic response to societal conflict, with particular attention to artists’ responses to war. From the battles of the Crusades, to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will look at work spanning over five centuries to explore common themes as well as culturally significant differences in this area of visual representation.