HIS 3150 History of Art

Course Description:

This course will provide an understanding of how and in what capacity artworks, including paintings, sculpture, craft, can be used as an alternative source to explore the past and historical practice. This course does not rely only on a chronological spread but covers art from many countries as well as the theory of art history and the display and reception of objects. The course will examine the question of what is art and for what it was used and how it was represented through ages in different political and social-economic settings by looking at a wide variety of approaches that have been used to study art and by reading selected passages from the history of the discipline and from recent writings.

Learning Objectives:
The course aims to enable students to develop the ability to understand how ‘artworks’ have been interpreted as historical evidence how they have been used in historical practice. Further, it aims to provide a sound base to research and investigate artworks by exploring and responding to the significance of works of art.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of this course, students should be able to:
• Think about ‘Art” from different perspectives
• Understand art as a reflection of political, economic and social change
• Use analytical tools to understand and appraise the historical practice with the interpretation of art and artistic objects

Course Content:
1. Art History: Theories and Approaches : (Traditional and new approaches to the interpretation of art, Different approaches to understanding the studying of art, including biography, psychoanalysis, formalism and style, periodization and national identity, iconography and iconology, patronage, feminism, Marxism, reception theory, and semiotics in Art)

2. Approaches to artistic production and reception: (Early approaches to the art object, Biographical approaches, Formalist approaches, Iconographic and Contextual approaches)

3. Politics, society and art history: Marx through World War II
4. Feminism and art history
5. Semiotics and art history / theories of authorship
6. Myths, Religion and Symbols in Art
[A series of lectures is accompanied by slides, pictures and class discussions].

Attendance 10%
Midterm Test or Assignment 30%
Final Exam 60%

Recommended Readings:
Ernst Kris and Otto Kurz, (1981), Legend, Myth, and Magic in the Image of the Artist: A Historical Experiment selections, NY: Yale University Press.

Erwin Panofsky, (1983) ‘Iconography and Iconology: A Course Description to the Study of Renaissance Art’ Meaning in the Visual Arts, Chicago: Chicargo University Press.
E. H. Gombrich, (2000) Art and Illusion: A Study in the Psychology of Pictorial Representation, NY: Princeton University Press.
George Ferguson, (1996). Signs and Symbols in Christian Art: With Illustrations from Paintings from the Renaissance, UK: Oxford University Press

Leo Tolstoy, (1996).What is art?: Essays on Art, Indiana: Hackett Publishing Inc.
Marilyn Stokstad, (2005). Art History, Vol. 1 & II (Revised second edition), New Jersey: Pearson-Prentice Hall.
Minor, Vernon Hyde (2001) Art History’s History, (2nd ed.) Upper Saddle River, N.J. : Prentice-Hall.

Preziosi, Donald, (ed.) (1998) The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology. Oxford /NY: Oxford University Press.

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