Art & Culture Classes

Class: Kerrin Meis - Al-Andalus: Art & Architecture of Andalusia (Corte Madera)

Friday, December 1, 2017 - 1:00pm

Three Fridays; Dec. 1-Dec. 15 • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm • $105

Join Art Historian Kerrin Meis for a slide/lecture journey through Andalusia.  Our tour will emphasize the development of Islamic Art and Architecture in Cordoba, Granada and Seville.  We’ll also see how Phoenician, Carthaginian, Roman, Visigothic and Jewish culture contributed to the rich panorama of art in the region.  Highlights include Roman Italica (birthplace of the Emporers Trajan and Hadrian), Carmona ,perhaps the most picturesque of the so-called white villages of Andalusia with its Roman mosaics and necropolis and  the Archaeological Museum of Seville which houses Phoenician, and Roman finds as well as objects from Italica.
    
Our study of Moorish architecture begins with the Mezquita, the great mosque of Cordoba begun in 785 on the site of a Visigothic church and enlarged four times.  We’ll examine the evolution of the mosque: its floor plan, ornamental features and its predecessors in the Middle East . We visit the Juderia, the former Jewish quarter with narrow streets , cool patios and a fourteenth-century synagogue.  The Palacio de Viana, a fine example of fifteenth-century secular architecture with twelve patios and the excellent Archaeological Museum housed in a sixteenth –century Renaissance palace complete our visit to Cordoba. We visit Madinat Azahara the palace of Abd al Rahman III outside Cordoba .

Then it’s off to Granada for an in-depth exploration of Alhambra (The Red Castle) , the fortress, palaces and gardens of the Nazrid princes, begun in 1350 . We’ll learn how the tile work  and stucco decoration was done as well as the meaning behind certain forms.  The events of 1492 are memorialized in the cathedral of Granada including the Mausoleum of Los Reyes Catolicos and the Royal Chapel.

In Seville we’ll visit the world’s largest cathedral with its remnants of the former mosque including La Giralda, formerly a minaret and a Visigothic fountain in the patio and paintings by Goya and Murillo  in the Sacristy .  On to the  Reales Alcazares, the fourteenth-century palace of Pedro the Cruel, a masterpiece of Mudejar architecture still used by the royal family today.   Seville produced many of the artists of  the seventeenth century and we’ll see their work in the Hospital de los Venerables in the Barrio Santa Cruz, the old Jewish quarter as well as in the excellent Museo de Bellas Artes, second only to the Prado in importance.  Housed in a seventeenth-century convent worth a visit in its own right, the Museo is home to paintings by Murillo, Zurburan  and Valdes Leal.
Also on our tour is Ronda with its famous bull ring.  The Corrida as well as Flamenco will be discussed. 
 

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years, and she currently teaches for the OLLI programs at Dominican University and UC Berkeley. She leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class: Kerrin Meis - The Image of Woman in Western Art: From Antiquity to Degas (Corte Madera)

Friday, January 5, 2018 - 1:00pm

Three Fridays; Jan. 5, 12 & 19 • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm • $105

Examine how artists, mostly male, developed an image of the "other": how the social and religious milieu as well as contemporary literature influenced their choices. With Eve's Expulsion from Paradise on the one hand and the Virgin Enthroned as Queen of Heaven on the other, we see the evolution of images beginning with the fecund Earth Mother of Pre-History. What were the intentions of artists and their patrons when the goddesses of mythology emerge as seductive nudes?  We look at saints, mystics, martyrs and other models of female deportment as well as various attributes ascribed to the Virgin Mary in theological discussions as to her nature. We trace her image back to images of Artemis and meet some interesting women: Astarte, Cybele, Athena, the philosopher Hipatia, as well as warrior heroines: Semiramis, Cleopatra, and Hatshepsut. Salome, Delilah, Judith, and Danae kept artists glued to their easels, as did Saints, including Barbara, Catherine and the Mary Magdalen. One century's stoic heroine becomes a later century's Femme Fatale or object of voyeurism.  

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years, and she currently teaches for the OLLI programs at Dominican University and UC Berkeley. She leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Class:  Kerrin Meis - Post-Impressionism: What Does it Mean? (Corte Madera)

Friday, February 2, 2018 - 1:00pm

Three Fridays; Feb. 2, Feb. 9, & Feb. 23, 2018 • 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm • $105

The term, invented by a British art critic, really only means that which follows Impressionism. It is not a style of painting. We study the works of a diverse group of artists including  Seurat, Signac,  Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec: While these  artists laid the groundwork for a  modern art based on concepts, process and emotion rather than on a direct visual  response to  reality ,they point to vastly different directions the world of art would take .Seurat's pointillism influenced Fauvism; Cezanne's experiments with space inspired Cubism; in contrast to these scientific approaches the introspective paintings of Gauguin and Van Gogh paved the way to Symbolism and Expressionism. Toulouse-Lautrec posters are the very essence of Art-Nouveau. 

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years, and she currently teaches for the OLLI programs at Dominican University and UC Berkeley. She leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925