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Art Appreciation

Course Description

What makes an artwork a masterpiece? Why do artists create art? What is the difference between Rococo and Art Nouveau? In this course, students will discover the answers to these questions and more. We examine the elements of art and principles of design, and explore how artists have used these elements and principles in the creation of art for centuries.

Unit 1: Elements of Art & Principles of Design

This unit defines the formal aspects of art. The elements of design (line, shape, form, space, color, and texture) are described, as well as the principles of design (Balance, Proportion, Emphasis, Movement, Rhythm, Repetition, Variety, and Unity). Examples of the various elements and principles will be provided and discussed.

Unit 2: Ancient Art

This unit will discuss early art, primarily from the regions surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Prehistoric art, including cave paintings and other artifacts, will be discussed in the first two modules. Modules three and four will discuss Ancient Egyptian Art. Finally, modules six and seven will discuss art from the ancient Mesopotamian civilizations of Akkad, Sumer, Babylon, and Assyria. The influence of religion and culture on art in these early civilizations will be described.

Unit 3: Aegean, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Art

This unit explores art produced by the ancient civilizations that inhabited modern day Italy, Greece, and nearby areas. The first module will discuss early Aegean art, including Cycladic, Minoan, and Helladic (Mycenaean) art. Modules two, three, and four will focus on Ancient Greek pottery, sculpture, and architecture (respectively). The fifth module will discuss Etruscan art, which is art from an early civilization in present day Italy. Finally, modules six and seven will discuss Roman art and architecture.

Unit 4: Medieval Art

This unit discusses medieval art from across Europe. The first two modules will discuss art from the Byzantine (or Eastern Roman) Empire. Module three will discuss early Islamic art. Modules four, five, and six will focus medieval art from Western Europe, broken into three periods: early medieval, Romanesque, and Gothic. Major trends in art and architecture through these periods will be covered, as well as the major influences that shaped these trends.

Unit 5: The Renaissance to Rococo

This unit will cover major periods in European art from the 15th through the beginning of the 18th centuries. The first three modules will discuss art during the Renaissance, a period of significant artistic, scientific, and social change in Europe. Module four will focus on Mannerism, a style which bridges the Renaissance and Baroque periods. Module five will discuss Baroque art associated with the Catholic Counter-reformation, while module six will discuss Dutch Baroque art. Finally, module seven will cover French Baroque and Rococo art, which will lead into the art discussed in Unit 6.

Unit 6: Pre-modern Art

This unit will discuss major movements in Western art from the late 18 th century through the mid-19th century. The first two modules will focus on Neoclassicism which, as the name implies, was defined by an interest in Classical Greek and Roman art. The next two modules will focus on Romanticism, an important movement in art and literature at the turn of the 19th century. Finally, the last two modules will focus on two disparate groups of artists in the mid-19th century, Realists and Pre-Raphaelites. Although these two movements occurred at approximately the same time, they show contrasting ideas of what art should be.

Unit 7: Modern Art

This unit focuses on early Modern art, beginning with Impressionism. This unit will also discuss other prominent art movements from the turn of the 20th century, including Expressionism, Post-Impressionism, Symbolism, Synthetism, and Art Nouveau. Important works from each of these periods will be discussed at length.

Unit 8: Modernism and Post-modernism

This unit will conclude the course by covering major avant-garde movements of the early 20th century. Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dadaism, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism will each be discussed. Major artists and works from each of these movements will be examined.

Course Details

  • Date September 27, 2012
  • Tags Arts, High School Electives
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