date_range Débute le 19 octobre 2015
event_note Se termine le 29 novembre 2015
list 6 séquences
assignment Niveau : Introductif
chat_bubble_outline Langue : Anglais
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Les infos clés

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En résumé

How do artists create visual effects? In order to create an artistic impression, artists select materials that allow image formation, and that lend color, emphasis, shape, and size to the object created.

A scientist might follow up by asking, why those materials?  What characteristics do they have that allow them to embody the artist’s intent? How durable are they? Will they maintain the same qualities, both physical and aesthetic, they had when the work left the studio?

Conservation science further notes that all materials deteriorate over time, and then asks a follow-up question: What physical interventions are possible to maintain, preserve and protect the work as the artist intended? Whatever is done to the art object, the result must be to make the work recognizable as the artist’s work or the result is a failure.  

That is a key goal of this course: to understand, from a chemical point of view, how conservation protocols and the material aspects of an art work allow a better appreciation of an artwork and its creation, as well as confidence that it is the artist’s work.

These are not new problems. According to Leonardo da Vinci, the study of art should include the following topics:

  • A knowledge of materials
  • The chemistry of colors
  • The mathematics of composition
  • The laws of perspective
  • The illusions of chiaroscuro

As the briefest study of Leonardo's life shows, he was clearly ahead of his time in wanting to understand the reasons for a vast array of natural and artificial phenomena. Even so, a thorough understanding of those subjects listed above still escapes us today – but, progress has been made and that progress is at once the subject matter and the goal of this course.


Course banner painting: Unknown (previously attributed to Vincent van Gogh), Poppies, c.1886-c.1887, oil on canvas, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Bequest of Anne Parrish Titzell, 1957.617

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Le programme

  • Understanding of materials used to create art
  • Science behind human perception of art
  • Techniques used to conserve and date art objects
  • How art fakes and forgeries are detected
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Les intervenants

  • Henry DePhillips
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Le concepteur

Trinity College

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La plateforme

EdX est une plateforme d'apprentissage en ligne (dite FLOT ou MOOC). Elle héberge et met gratuitement à disposition des cours en ligne de niveau universitaire à travers le monde entier. Elle mène également des recherches sur l'apprentissage en ligne et la façon dont les utilisateurs utilisent celle-ci. Elle est à but non lucratif et la plateforme utilise un logiciel open source.

EdX a été fondée par le Massachusetts Institute of Technology et par l'université Harvard en mai 2012. En 2014, environ 50 écoles, associations et organisations internationales offrent ou projettent d'offrir des cours sur EdX. En juillet 2014, elle avait plus de 2,5 millions d'utilisateurs suivant plus de 200 cours en ligne.

Les deux universités américaines qui financent la plateforme ont investi 60 millions USD dans son développement. La plateforme France Université Numérique utilise la technologie openedX, supportée par Google.

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