Section Information for Fall 2021
This course is the first half of a survey of the History of Western Art. We will begin with the mysterious cave paintings of prehistory, discuss the art of Antiquity – the glorious sculpture and temples of Ancient Egypt, the refined figures of Classical Greece, the inventive architecture of Rome -- and progress through the Middle Ages, examining glittering golden manuscripts and soaring cathedrals. Our course will end at the eve of the Renaissance. As we shall see, throughout history, trends in history and culture have been reflected, expressed, and articulated in art, and our course will examine how art has been used for a myriad of purposes, from displays of political power to the performance of rituals for death. One of our central tasks will be to see how art and culture fit together, and how one can shed light upon the other.
The goal of this course is to learn the basics of art history and of visual analysis, focusing on art of the Mediterranean and European worlds. If you work hard, this course will help you develop skills for identifying works and recognizing their cultural context. It will also give you a broad understanding of the pre-modern history and culture of the Western world and an introduction to works in DC collections. A large part of this course is learning to use the descriptive and analytical terms appropriate for the discipline, learning to discuss, analyze, and write about a work of art.
ARTH 200 DL1 is a distance education section.