ART 447 / HLS 445 / ARC 440: Siegecraft: Architecture, Warefare, and Media (LA)
“I’m most looking forward to looking at a whole range of artworks I've never studied before, together with students. Princeton has truly amazing prints, drawings, and books that we can explore together.” – Professor Carolyn Yerkes
Siegecraft was an art more complex than painting, more powerful than sculpture, and more monumental than any building in the early modern world. Siege-obsessed artists, architects, and writers for the simple reason that it was everywhere. Long-term battles that held cities in constant conflict were the dominant form of warfare as well as a fundamental part of lived experience and the early modern imaginary.
This class considers the ways that early modern media represented, responded to, and reshaped the narratives surrounding siegecraft in relation to the geopolitics of the age. Through consideration of works ranging from large-scale prints to landscape design, perspective drawing, cartography, fortification, and military treatises, this seminar confronts the discomfiting reality that the period long known as the “Renaissance” was defined as much, if not more, by brutal and collective warfare than it was by the rise of the individual.
The class has no prerequisites and is open to all, including students of architecture, engineering, art, history, media, and literature. Seminar sessions will include hands-on study of original artworks in campus collections.