Course Outline

Module 1

History of Western Art

As the title suggests this module introduces the course to the student in broad terms. It will introduce artistic styles, specific artistic movements, pivotal paintings and artists. The subject matter will explain painting structure; technique, medium, style, approach and themes from cave decorations to contemporary art. It will include relevant sculptures, applied art and architecture and demonstrate how the works of art are historically and artistically connected.

Module 2

The Renaissance

Considered by many to be the greatest period of creative and intellectual achievement, the author discusses the Renaissance from its origins in 13th century humanism to the 16th century when the artistic climate in Europe changed dramatically. Focusing on the works by notable artists of the period and discussing styles and themes, the author provides an understanding of the great cultural, intellectual and social transformation that swept across Europe at that time.

Module 3

Seventeenth Century Art

This module discusses the artistic, religious and cultural movements of the 17th century and how these spread across the continent of Europe. The course will explain the artistic styles of the period and how technical and social advancements inspired the artists and their patrons.

Module 4

Eighteenth Century Art

The author explores the developments primarily in European fine arts of the 18th century. While the focus will be on painting, other media including drawing, prints and sculpture will be included alongside aspects of landscape gardening and interior design. The module explains how war, religion, commerce and the pursuit of empire came to influence the art and culture of the time.

Module 5

Nineteenth Century Art

Here the course concentrates on 19th century painting, sculpture, graphic arts, photography, architecture and decorative arts across the western world. The 19th century is a rich period, artistically and historically from the Revolutions in France and America up to the end of the Victorian era; a period when art and artists were influenced by conflict, by industrial advancement, by travel and by the development of consumerism.

Module 6

The Impressionists & Beyond

The impressionist painters of the 19th century were so influential on the future development of art that they warrant a separate module. The styles, techniques and philosophy of this major movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries will be discussed in detail, as will the artists’ avant garde lifestyles and the public’s initial reaction to what today is recognized as a hugely influential period in art.

Module 7

Art Deco & Art Nouveau

The two different and instantly recognizable 20th century styles of Art Nouveau and Art Deco had a great influence on art and design of the period. The styles were both immensely popular and were seen as revolutionary at the time. Their origins, their influences, their global reach and the politics of the time will be explained in this segment of the course.

Module 8

Cubism, Abstraction, Surrealism

This module discusses important movements in Modern Art evolving at the turn of the 20th century and proliferating through much of the last century. The political turmoil and the unsettling atmosphere of industrial disputes, social upheaval and mechanized warfare are influences seen in the works of art of the day. The author will explain the trends and artistic styles of the times choosing particular works and explaining their importance, their medium and their context.

Module 9

Modern Art: Post Cubism to 1980

The period of art described as Modern Art in this module starts after Cubism and take us on a rollercoaster artistic ride to the late seventies. The author reveals the extraordinary pace of artistic progress over the decades, introduces the pivotal works of art of this era and places them in their cultural and social context.

Module 10

Contemporary Art from 1980

The art discussed in this chapter comes from the era after Modern Art and introduces different concepts of art as it is made today, Artworks in their broadest form will be explored; new technologies, new materials and new theories about the nature of art, including film, video, computers, three-dimensional works, live elements and performances. Often at odds with the public and sometimes at odds with the critics, our author explains why these works hold an important place in the development of art in its widest sense.

Module 11

The Art Market

Our expert in this module discusses how to some art has become a commodity and looks at the business of trading art. It will give you an overview of the international art market today, explore the different ways in which art is valued and how the market is subdivided, from paintings, drawings, prints, furniture, sculpture, silver, porcelain and more. You will learn how auction houses, art galleries and dealers work, be given an outline of the major international art markets and will discover the highest priced artists today and the reasons for their popularity.

Module 12

The Art of North America

To complete the Art Appreciation course we are taking a close look at the art of North America, from early explorers colonies to nationhood and international recognition. The artist developing the increasing need for independence from the old world of Europe. The module examines the most significant artists in America and Canada, including native art and its influences, explaining the structures and styles over the last 400 odd years pivotal to the creation of their national identities.