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.