Print and Visual Culture in Europe, ca. 1700–1900





Until much of their role was taken over by photography, illustrative prints were the principal medium through which visual imagery and ideas were communicated to the mass of the population. This course will trace the changing function of pictorial prints in European culture of the 18th and 19th centuries, paying particular attention to the following themes: the development of the popular print market; pattern books and the transmission of design and architectural styles; the rise of travel and topographical prints; woodblock printing and wallpaper; major developments in print technology and distribution in the period. In recent years the study of “print culture” has been dominated by literary historians and specialists in textual analysis. One of the aims of this course is to emphasize the importance of visual prints as bearers of meaning, as well as a source for design and architectural historians. Printmakers and theorists to be studied will include William Hogarth, the Comte de Caylus, Stuart and Revett, Piranesi, the Encyclopaedists, Thomas Bewick, Honoré Daumier, A.W.N. Pugin, Viollet-le-Duc, Owen Jones, Gustave Doré, William Morris, and Peter Behrens. There will be at least one visit to a print workshop to see the different printing processes in operation. 3 credits.