Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe

Fall 2017


The Course

    An introduction to the art of Western Europe in the 17th century. Examples of painting, sculpture, architecture, and printmaking produced in Italy, France, Flanders, Spain, France, the Dutch Republic, and England between 1590 and 1700 will be examined in detail.

    European Art in the Seventeenth Century is a LEVEL TWO course. It builds upon knowledge and skills acquired in LEVEL ONE introductory survey courses and assumes a certain level of competence in matters concerning basic identification information, visual analysis, and style.

    As a LEVEL TWO course, we will focus on questions of iconography (the study of subject matter and its conventional meaning), iconology (the study of subject matter and its contextual meaning), and symbolism. The aim is to develop an understanding of an artwork’s meaning and purpose in its original cultural context.

Meeting Place and Time

  • Pannell 202: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:00-4:15

Required Texts

    Ann Sutherland Harris
    Seventeenth-Century Art & Architecture
    Second edition
    (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice-Hall, 2008)

Student Responsibilities

  • ONE RESEARCH PRESENTATION (8-12 pages, written in the form of paper, with footnotes, plus bibliography) presented in class with web-based or PowerPoint images. The presentation will focus on a selected painting (or group of paintings), piece of sculpture (or group of sculptures), or work of architecture (or architectural complex). The aim is to examine issues of iconographical and iconological significance that reach beyond what the textbook has to offer. The information and analysis you provide should serve to enhance our understanding of the topic in question. The paper will be handed in upon completion of the presentation.

  • ONE RESEARCH PAPER (10-15 pages, with footnotes, plus bibliography), based upon your Research Presentation. The paper will be completed under the supervision of your instructor.
    The Research Paper is due in my office by 5:00 p.m., Thursday, December 7

  • Active class participation, which includes being prepared for each class, and taking part in discussion


  • Research Presentation = 40%
  • Research Paper = 50%
  • Participation = 10%

Office and Hours

  • Pannell 203: Tuesdays 2:15-3:00 p.m. Other times by appointment
  • phone: 6194
  • email: