The goal of this course is to help students become familiar with the leading European painters and paintings from approximately 1400 to 1800, and with the issues that found expression in the art of painting. Included in this broad timeframe are artists of the importance of Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer or Goya. Painters during this period were concerned with ideas such as the pursuit of beauty, the pleasures and pains associated with love, the demonstration of power and status, or the relationship of men and women to the divinity and to nature. In paintings from the period covered in this course we find traces of the emergence of the modern mind set, and information on issues such as the respective roles of women and men in the world. The classes will focus on images of paintings by the artists listed in the course syllabus. The discussions that will take place in the “course forum” will allow us to touch upon a broader range of issues.