From Pompeii to Paramecium Pond: A History of Gardens and Landscape Art

From ancient times to the present day, people have used art to bring order to the natural world. In this class, we will study both actual gardens and visions of nature as captured in landscape painting. We will study gardens from the past--from ancient Pompeii to the Getty Villa in California, from Buddhist gardens in Japan to African-American gardens in the rural South-- allowing us to engage in a complex process of reconstruction that involves putting together physical remains, literary descriptions, paintings, drawings, and prints. In addition, we will focus on some key traditions in landscape art, such as French Impressionism and the American Hudson River School. Finally, we will look at contemporary gardens to understand how these examples of living art are used today. We will study some of these gardens from afar and some up close, spending time outside the classroom to draw on the rich natural resources right here on Wellesley’s campus. 

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: None. Open to First-Years only.

Instructor: Lynn-Davis (Art)

Degree Requirements: WFY - First Year Writing

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring