Professors

Agostino De Rosa (Università  Iuav di Venezia)

Schedule


Course description
The aims of the course is to introduce the students to the representation of space and time in Western and Far Eastern art and culture. The course will start from the analysis of the anthropologic positions that have historically distinguished the two ethno-cultural fields. It also will provide a closer examination of why, despite the development during Western Renaissance of linear perspective, the pseudo-axonometry has been privileged by Far East art. We will try to understand why perspective and axonometry quickly became the symbolic forms for so different philosophical and religious contextualities. The representation of light and shadow there will be also particularly underlined, discovering some uncanny differences in its uses. The students will employ different teaching materials coming not only from the history of art and of figuration, but also from literature, music and cinema. The representation becomes, from the course’s critical point of view, a significant part of immaterial cultural heritage, crossing all the fields of figurative art, from East to West. The major focus of the course will be centered in particular on the critical analysis of a masterpiece of Cultural Heritage, the convent of SS. Trinità dei Monti in Rome: the students first will be introduced to the study of its anamorphic frescoes and catoptric sundial, preserved in Convent’s corridors. New ways to enhance and perceive those masterpieces will be explained, employing digital tools. The use of video mapping, laser-scanning survey and augmented reality will be useful to comprehend the secret life of those amazing works of art.

Learning outcomes of the course
The expected learning outcomes for the students will be the development of a comparative approach between the Western and Eastern forms of representation. This will be possible by means of the analytic observation and the documentary study of some of art masterpieces, from Eastern and Western artistic traditions. The course aims to enhance student’s critical capacities in the exegesis of images characterized by a strong geometric and symbolic contents. The final outcome of the course will be to develop in each student a strong idea that representation is a powerful tool to understand the global artistic cultural heritage.

Teaching and evaluation methods
The course will be held with lectures, and with the aid of multimedia materials. The students’ learning status will be evaluated with two short individual exercises during the course, in the form of seminaries, each counting for the 30% of the final grade (30%+30%=60%). The remaining 40% will be given according to the final exam, which will consist of a discussion about the themes developed during the course.
30% 1st individual exercise
30% 2nd individual exercise
40% Final discussion

Syllabus
Week 1
Perspective versus axonometry
Lesson 1- The geometrical and cultural roots of linear perspective
- Panofsky, E. (1996). Perspective as Symbolic Form, Zone Book, Brooklyn, New York.
- Scolari, M., (2012). Oblique Drawing. A History of Anti-Perspective, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Lesson 2–Projective Foundations of Linear Perspective
- Montague, J. (2013). Basic Perspective Drawing: A Visual Approach, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ: 40-78.
-Kemp, M. (1992) The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat, Yale, Yale University Press.

Week 2
Between Shadows and Light (A)
Lesson 1– Theory and History of Shadow Projection (I)
- Stoichita, V. (2013). Short History of the Shadow, Reaktion Books, London: Ist chapter.
- Gombrich, E. (1995). Shadows: The Depiction of Cast Shadows in Western Art, National Gallery, London.
Lesson 2– Theory and History of Shadow Projection (II)
- Bauer, G. (1987). Experimental Shadow Casting and the Early History of Perspective, in "Art Bullettin", vol. LXIX, June.

Week 3
Between Shadows and Light (B)
Lesson 1- Theory and History of Shadows Projection (III)
- Da Costa Kaufmann, T. (1975). The Perspective of Shadows: The History of the Theory of Shadow Projection, in “Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes”, Vol. 38: 258-287.

A-perspectival representation in Far East Figurative Art
Lesson 2–Delete the senses (I)
- De Rosa, A. (1998). L' infinito svelato allo sguardo. Forme della rappresentazione estremo orientale, Milan, Città Studi: 1st chapter.

Week 4
Lesson 1– Images without limits (II)
- De Rosa, A. (1998). L' infinito svelato allo sguardo. Forme della rappresentazione estremo orientale, Milan, Città Studi: 2nd chapter.
-Wells, W.H. (1935). Perspective in early Chinese Painting, London, E. Coldston.
Lesson 2– At the edge of the shadow (III)
- De Rosa, A. (1998). L' infinito svelato allo sguardo. Forme della rappresentazione estremo orientale, Milan, Città Studi: 3rd chapter.
Junichiro, T. (2001). In Praise Of Shadows, new edition, London, Vintage Classics.
- Glum, P.(1981-82). Light without shade, I, in "Oriental Art" n°4, Winter
- Glum, P.(1982). Light without shade, II, in "Oriental Art" n°1, Spring.

Week 5
The art of light and space
Lesson 1–Another Horizon: James Turrell’s light installations (I)
- De Rosa, A. (2006). James Turrell/Geometrie di Luce/Roden Crater Project, Electa, Milan. - Sinnreich U., edited by (2009). James Turrell: Geometry of Light, Ostfildern, Hatje Cantz.
Assignment of 1st individual exercise: comparative study of two pictorial images (one from Renaissance’s pictorial tradition, and the other from Far East’s one) freely chosen by the student.
Lesson 2– A Dawn in the Void: The Roden Crater Project (II)
- De Rosa, A. (2006). James Turrell/Geometrie di Luce/Roden Crater Project, Electa, Milan.
- Govan, M., edited by (2013). James Turrell: A Retrospective, New York and London, Prestel USA.

Midterm Break Week
Week 6
Lesson 1– A Dawn in the Void: The Roden Crater Project (III)
- De Rosa, A. (2006). James Turrell/Geometrie di Luce/Roden Crater Project, Electa, Milan.
- Govan, M., edited by (2013). James Turrell: A Retrospective, New York and London, Prestel USA.

Delivery of 1st individual exercise.
Lesson 2– exercises’ discussion and readings

Week 7
The Vertigo of Sight
Lesson 1–The Secrets of Anamorphosis (I)
- De Rosa, A., D’Acunto, G. (2002). La vertigine dello sguardo. Tre saggi sulla rappresentazione anamorfica, Venezia, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina: 1st chapter.
- Massey, L. (2007). Picturing Space, Displacing Bodies: Anamorphosis in Early Modern Theories of Perspective, University Park, PA, Penn State University Press.

Lesson 2–The Secrets of Anamorphosis (II)
- De Rosa, A., D’Acunto, G. (2002). La vertigine dello sguardo. Tre saggi sulla rappresentazione anamorfica, Venezia, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina: 1st chapter.
- Massey, L. (2007). Picturing Space, Displacing Bodies: Anamorphosis in Early Modern Theories of Perspective, University Park, PA, Penn State University Press.

Week 8
Lesson 1– Small visual mazes (III)
- De Rosa, A., D’Acunto, G. (2002). La vertigine dello sguardo. Tre saggi sulla rappresentazione anamorfica, Venezia, Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina: 2nd chapter.
-Kemp, M. (1992). The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat, Yale, Yale University Press.

Assignment of 2nd individual exercise: comparative study (i.e. academic paper) about two essays:
1)Plummer, H. (1987). Poetics of Light, in “A+U”, Tokyo December.
2) Junichiro, T. (2001). In Praise of Shadows, new edition, London, Vintage Classics.
Maximum length: 10 pages (excluding the illustrations).
Research papers must include bibliographical references and notes.

Lesson 2– Steps into Infinity: the Twins Anamorphic Corridors at Trinità dei Monti (Rome) (IV)

- De Rosa, A., (2013). Jean François Nicéron. Prospettiva, catottrica e magia artificiale, Rome, Aracne.

Week 9
Comparing East and West: some case-studies
Lesson 1–Guest lecturer: Alessio Bortot (University Iuav of Venezia)
Angkor Vat Bayon Shrine and its Cosmogonic Architecture.
Delivery of 2nd individual exercise.

Week 10
Lesson 1–Guest lecturer: Isabella Friso (Università degli Studi di Padova)
The works by L.I. Kahn, between East and West.
Lesson 2 -Guest lecturer: Paolo Borin (Università degli Studi di Padova)
Digital Humanities for Cultural Heritage.

Week 11
Lesson 1–Guest lecturer: Andrea Giordano (Università degli Studi di Padova)
History of Perspective through Ideal Cities.
Lesson 2 -Guest lecturer: Giulia Lazzaretto (University Iuav of Venezia/Venice International University)
The digital reconstruction of Suzhou' scroll..

Week 12
Lesson 1– paper discussion and readings
Lesson 2–paper discussion and readings.

Exam week December 2021

Bibliography
Required readings
- Panofsky, E. (1996). Perspective as Symbolic Form, Zone Book, Brooklyn, New York.
- Plummer, H. (1987). Poetics of Light, in “A+U”, Tokyo December.
- Junichiro, T. (2001). In Praise of Shadows, new edition, London, Vintage Classics.
- De Rosa, A., Bortot, A. Anamorphosis: Between Perspective and Catoptrics, in Bharath Sriraman, ed., "Handbook of the Mathematics of the Arts and Sciences", Springer 2019.
- De Rosa, A., Bergamo, F. Geometries of Light and Shadows, from Piero della Francesca to James Turrell, in Bharath Sriraman, ed., "Handbook of the Mathematics of the Arts and Sciences", Springer 2019.
- De Rosa, A., Bortot, A., Lazzaretto, G. The Suzhou handscroll: oblique images of a Far East city between remembrance and future, in “DISEGNARECON", Vol 11, No 21 (2018).
- De Rosa, A. Out of this world in two parts, in “AR Architecture Research/Correspondences”, February 2019.
Suggested readings
-AA.VV., VIA/Architecture and Shadow, #11, Philadelphia 1990
-Aromberg Levin, M., Piero della Francesca: The Flagellation, New York 1972
-Bauer, G., Experimental Shadow Casting and the Early History of Perspective, in "Art Bullettin", vol. LXIX, June 1987
-Baxandall, M., Shadows and Enlightenment, New Haven e London 1995
-Clunas, C., Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China, London 1997
-Fong, M., The technique of 'chiaroscuro' in Chinese Painting from Han through T'ang, in "Artibus Asiae", XXXVIII, 2/3, Ascona 1976
-Glum, P., Light without shade, I, in "Oriental Art" n°4, Winter 1981/82
-Glum, P., Light without shade, II, in "Oriental Art" n°1, Spring 1982
-Gombrich, E. H., Shadows/The depiction of cast shadows in western art, London 1995.
-Hung, W., The Double Screen/Medium and Representation in Chinese painting, London 1996
-Inoue, M., Space in Japanese Architecture, New York/Tokyo, 1985
-Isozaki, A., 'Ma': Japanese Time-Space, in "JA", Tokyo February 1979
-Itoh, T., Space and Illusion in the Japanese Garden, New York-Tokyo & Kyoto, 1977
-Kemp, M., The Science of Art: Optical Themes in Western Art from Brunelleschi to Seurat, Yale 1992
-Maeda, R. J., Spatial Enclosures: the Idea of lnterior Space in Chinese Painting, in "Oriental Art" #4, Fall 1985/86
-Maki, F., Japanese City Spaces and the Concept of Oku, in "JA", Tokyo May 1979
March, B., A Note on Perspective in Chinese Painting, in "The China Journal", VII/2, August 1929
-March, B., Linear Perspective in Chinese Painting, in "Eastrn Art" n°3, Philadelphia 1931
-Needham, J., Wang, L., Lo Gwey, D., voice Perspective, in AA.VV., "Science and Civilization in China", vol. IV, Cambridge 1971
-Nietschke, G., From Shinto to Ando/Studies in Architectural Anthropology in Japan, London-Berlin 1993
-Scolari, M., Oblique Drawing: A History of Anti-Perspective, Cambridge Mass. 2012
-Wells, W.H., Perspective in early Chinese Painting, London 1935

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