Diane Bodart is a hidden treasure in the Art History department - she's incredibly knowledgeable and can speak about any matters renaissance and baroque. Each lecture is packed with information and one senses that there's much more she wants to and could say about each topic. Readings chosen are also almost always enriching and fascinating. This course isn't just paintings and Velazquez but she opens the period up to ephemeral art, still-lives, Latin America and artistic transactions etc. She's also actually very pleased to talk to students if you go for her office hours. This is a class where you'll exit feeling like woah I know so much more now.
11/10 would recommend. Super sweet, knows her stuff, and always seems happy to be teaching. She is quiet and has a french accent, so it sometimes takes a while to cover the slides in lecture. Class is mostly student-led discussion, so it is much more enjoyable if you engage with the material and speak up. As a freshman with no formal background in art history but an interest in art, this class was fairly easy but super interesting.
My friends complained of Professor Bodart's French accent, because it was sometimes difficult to understand. However, I found myself entranced by Bodart's intelligence, subtlety and eloquence. She has an immense amount of knowledge about Spanish Baroque history. Her love for the subject matter shines through her lectures. Spanish Baroque art is purely fascinating. My mind was blown when we learned about how polychrome sculpture functioned in processions. In order to create a more visceral, physical religious experience, Baroque art pushed the boundaries of the "real." We also learned about portraits that were used as a political tool, to spread idealized images of the Hapsburg kings. This is still relevant today, as politicians cultivate images of themselves. My lovely TA, Ray Carlson, discussed Chuck Close's tapestry of Obama in Britain's U.S. embassy in relation to "body politic." This course epitomizes art history as an interdisciplinary subject. You are enveloped in the politics, architecture, art, literature, and even economics of 16th and 17th century Spain.