Exploring Art History - HA354

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
View Timetable
4 15 (7.5)







The module is intended as an introduction to the History of Art, as a body of visual artefacts and as an academic discipline. It is intended to be accessible to those with little or no previous experience, but also stimulating and informative to students with more background knowledge. The approach is chronological, focusing on a sequence of so termed 'canonical' works of art produced within the Western tradition. Such works provide a frame for introducing students to many of the basic analytical concepts and terms routinely deployed by art historians in describing, analysing and interpreting works of art: period, style, iconography, meaning, material/medium, technique, composition, creative process, representation, tradition, social function, patronage, genre etc.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 44
Private study hours: 106
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Essay (1500 words) (60%)
Seminar Performance (20%)
Seminar Presentation (20%).

Indicative reading

Dana Arnold, Art History: A Very Short Introduction (2013)
Hal Foster et al, Art Since 1900: Modernism, Antimodernism, Postmodernism (2011)
Ernst Gombrich, The Story of Art (1995)
Charles Harrison, Introduction to Art (2010)
Hugh Honour and John Fleming, A World History of Art (2009)
Grant Pooke and Diana Newall, Art History: The Basics (2010)
Grant Pooke and Diana Newall (eds.) Fifty Key Texts in Art History (2012)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

- acquired a basic knowledge and understanding of the general development of examples of fine art, including painting and sculpture, in the western tradition, preparing them for more specialist modules
- developed a detailed knowledge and understanding of certain key or 'canonical' works produced within that tradition;
- gained a familiarity with a range of the key concepts, terms and ideas that art historians routinely employ to describe and interpret works of art, laying the ground for the study of more advanced methodologies in the core 2nd year module;
- acquired skills of close visual analysis through the study of particular works of art.

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