ARTH207: Baroque Art to Neoclassicism

Course Syllabus for "ARTH207: Baroque Art to Neoclassicism "

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This course will examine the history of Western art from approximately 1600 to approximately 1800—a period that bridges the gap from the Renaissance to the earliest days of the Modern era. Beginning with the Baroque in Counter-Reformation Italy and concluding with Neoclassicism in the late 18th century, we will trace the stylistic developments in Europe and America through a variety of religious, political, and philosophical movements. The class begins with the Baroque, which was the immediate successor to the Renaissance and to Renaissance humanism, and we will examine this period by regions (Italy and Spain, the Netherlands, and France and England). Next, the course moves on to explore the development of two opposing styles that emerged in the 18th century: Rococo and Enlightenment art. The course culminates with Neoclassical art, its development in a politically turbulent France, and its spread into other Western cultures, including Italy, England, and the United States. Crucial to this course is the emergence of characteristics (artistic, social, political, scientific, philosophical, and religious) that anticipate the issues faced by Modern society in the 18th century and after. Long-accepted institutions, such as the Catholic Church and the monarchy, reached their zenith in this environment and were ultimately challenged. Reading assignments and lectures will present an overview of this material, revealing the deep connection between a culture’s sociopolitical climate and its art. By the time you finish this course, you will be familiar with the most important art and artists of Western civilization from approximately 1600 to 1800. You will also have a greater understanding of the most important social and political debates of the time. Moreover, you will be able to explain and discuss the ways in which the themes, styles, and patronage of works of art relate to the social, political, and religious environments in which they were produced. The content covered in this course will prepare you to study Modern art in the West.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Identify works of art from the Baroque, Rococo, Enlightenment, and Neoclassical periods and be able to distinguish between these different periods.
  • Discuss and identify the oeuvre of the major artists working in Western Europe from 1600–1800.
  • Explain and identify the regional and cultural differences between works of art produced in the same period (i.e., Baroque, Rococo, Enlightenment, or Neoclassical).
  • Recognize important works of art from the Baroque through Neoclassical periods, recalling such information as date of creation, artist, patron (if known), medium, and period.
  • Recognize the features (stylistic and iconographic) typical of each period studied.
  • Explain and discuss the general arc of Western history from approximately 1600–1800, as seen through the lens of the arts.
  • Explain the forces influencing the change in style and subject matter in Western art from 1600–1800.
  • Discuss the sources of influence (from previous historical periods as well as from neighboring geographical regions) that affected art produced from the Baroque to Neoclassical periods.
  • Compare and contrast works of art from the Baroque through Neoclassical periods to those of other periods and cultures.
  • Describe the methods and materials used to create works of art from the Baroque to Neoclassical periods.
  • Explain the ways in which Baroque, Rococo, Enlightenment, and Neoclassical art reveal the social, religious, and political mores of their respective times and places.

Course Requirements

In order to take this course, you must:

√    Have a computer

√    Have continuous broadband Internet access

√    Have the ability/permission to install plug-ins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash)

√    Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer

√    Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt., .xls, etc.)

√    Have competency in the English language

√    Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.

√    Have completed and passed the following courses: ARTH 101ARTH110, and ARTH111

Course Information

Welcome to ARTH207, Baroque Art to Neoclassicism.  Below, please find general information on this course and its requirements. 

Primary Resources: This course draws from a number of different resources, including:

Requirements for Completion: In order to complete this course successfully you must satisfactorily complete six museum visits using the Google Art Project and three writing assignments based on those museum visits, as well as pass the final exam with a score of 70% or higher.

Note that you will only receive an official grade on your final exam.  However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through all of the assignments listed above.

Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it.  If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.

Time Commitment: This course will take a total of approximately 150 hours to complete.

Tips/Suggestions: As with any art history course, it is important that you take time to carefully examine any and all images presented in this course.  Pay careful attention to images presented in video lectures and pause the videos or go back as necessary to review.  Most images also can be easily located in a Google search.

Table of Contents: You can find the course's units at the links below.