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Fundamentals of Art History

Course Description

This one-semester course is designed to develop students’ understanding and appreciation for the visual arts. This course explores the arts, artists, and their cultures from prehistoric times through the present. Students will begin to explore important works of art, selected from various types of media, including painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography. As the course presents works of different periods, students will receive the historical and geographic context necessary for gaining a deeper appreciation of the pieces. This course will provide students with a working knowledge of concepts and an enriched vocabulary so that they can become more critical observers of art.

Course Organization

Modules. The Modules are practice assignments. Each Module is a non-graded exercise that allows you to build your knowledge and identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Graded Assignments. Graded Assignments are the tasks you will submit to your instructor for a grade. Each assignment contains specific information about how your work will be assessed and how credit will be given for your responses. The average of your assignments will count for 75 percent of your course grade.

Course Objectives

Upon completing of this course, you will be able to:

  • trace the progression of art through history;
  • identify different art periods and their historical influences;
  • identify different artists and their works;
  • identify and use the terms related to art;
  • recognize the relationship between religion, culture, and art; and
  • compare works of art.

Final Examination

The final examination is comprehensive; it covers the material from all of the units. To pass the course, you must receive a grade of 70 percent or better. You can apply to take the Final Exam after 100 percent of your graded assignments have been submitted, and at least 70 percent have been graded and returned to you.
Format: Objective
Time Allowed: 3 hours

Course Outline

Total Number of Units: 7
Total Number of Activities: 28
Total Number of Graded Assignments: 21

Unit 1: Introduction to Art History
Module 1: What is Art?
Module 2: Why is Art Created?
Module 3: A Palette of Media: Types of Art
Module 4: Evaluating a Work of Art
Graded Assignment 1: The Whats and Whys of Art
Graded Assignment 2: Evaluating Art
Graded Assignment 3: Introduction to Art History Unit Test

Unit 2: The Ancient World
Module 1: Art in Prehistoric Europe and North America
Module 2: Ancient Near Eastern Art
Module 3: Egyptian Art
Module 4: Aegean Art
Module 5: Greek Art
Module 6: Roman Art
Graded Assignment 1: Prehistoric, Ancient, and Egyptian Art
Graded Assignment 2: Aegean, Greek, and Roman Art
Graded Assignment 3: The Ancient World Unit Test

Unit 3: The Middle Ages
Module 1: Early Christian and Byzantine Art
Module 2: Early Medieval Art
Module 3: Romanesque Art
Module 4: Gothic Art
Graded Assignment 1: Early Christian, Byzantine, and Medieval Art
Graded Assignment 2: Romanesque and Gothic Art
Graded Assignment 3: The Middle Ages Unit Test

Unit 4: The Renaissance
Module 1: The Early Renaissance
Module 2: The High Renaissance in Italy
Module 3: The Renaissance in the North
Graded Assignment 1: The Italian Renaissance
Graded Assignment 2: Renaissance in the North
Graded Assignment 3: The Renaissance Unit Test

Fundamentals of Art History Midterm Exam
This Midterm Exam counts as a graded assignment and does not need to be taken at a testing center.

Unit 5: The Baroque
Module 1: The Baroque in Italy and Spain
Module 2: The Baroque in Flanders and the Netherlands
Module 3: The French Baroque and Rococo Styles
Graded Assignment 1: Baroque in Italy, Spain, Flanders, and the Netherlands
Graded Assignment 2: French Baroque and Rococo
Graded Assignment 3: The Baroque Unit Test

Unit 6: The Modern World
Module 1: Neoclassicism
Module 2: Romanticism
Module 3: Realism and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood
Module 4: Impressionism and Post-Impressionism
Graded Assignment 1: Neoclassicism and Romanticism
Graded Assignment 2: Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism
Graded Assignment 3: The Modern World Unit Test

Unit 7: The Modern World Unit Test
Module 1: Twentieth Century Painting
Module 2: Twentieth Century Sculpture
Module 3: Twentieth Century Architecture
Module 4: Twentieth Century Photography
Graded Assignment 1: Twentieth Century Paintings and Sculpture
Graded Assignment 2: Twentieth Century Architecture and Photography
Graded Assignment 3: Art in the Later Twentieth Century Exam

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