Pleasure and Pain: European Fashion as (Art) History


In the words of Louis XIV, "Fashion is the mirror of history. It reflects political, social and economic changes, rather than mere whimsy." This course will survey the history of dress in early modern Europe, using art and material culture to explore the relationship between society and style. Beginning with the Renaissance, we will explore what fashion in (art) history can tell us about gender, sexuality, class, race, and revolution. To incorporate a global perspective (although concentrating primarily on the West), further themes to be considered include the textile trade, commerce and empire, identity politics, and nation-building. From the chopine to the corset, the pannier to the Pompadour pump, we will incorporate surviving examples as we explore the art and history of European fashion from the 15th to the early 19th century. This course is open to students who have previously taken or are currently enrolled in Intro to Western Art.
Course Attributes: FA AH; EN H; BU Hum; BU BA; BU IS; AS HUM; GF AH; FA HUM; AR HUM

Section 01

Pleasure and Pain: European Fashion as (Art) History
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