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College of Arts and Sciences/Art History
Course Title: History of Art I: Prehistoric Through Medieval
Course Number: 58-203 and 59-203, Spring 2015
General Education Requirement: Arts and Humanities
Prof. M. Frank
Voicemail: 978-934-3482
Email: [email protected]
Office: 204 Coburn Hall, South Campus
Office hours: 9:00-11:00 Monday and Wednesday; and also by appointment.
HISTORY of ART I: Prehistoric Through Medieval
Course Description:
This course introduces the student to the technical, aesthetic and historical achievements of
architecture, sculpture, and painting from the prehistoric through medieval periods (25,000 BC1400 AD). The course will proceed chronologically for the most part; and will emphasize
representative works of art from the Ancient, Byzantine, Medieval, and Early Renaissance
periods. Methodological problems of interpretation, formal analysis and aesthetic principles are
studied in these art works. In addition, students will investigate the purposes of art and visual
communication and develop a heightened sense of critical thinking that allows them to
investigate successfully different modes of representation, styles, and media in a multicultural
General Education approved course (Gen Ed):
The General Education Program at UMass Lowell fosters active learning by asking students to
think critically, communicate effectively and embrace cultural diversity. This course will
emphasize the following learning outcomes:
Breadth of knowledge: Students must demonstrate familiarity with several different
areas of knowledge and several different modes of inquiry; in this course we will use
paintings, sculpture, primary and secondary texts, and film to broaden our knowledge of
the visual arts.
Critical thinking: Students must demonstrate the ability to synthesize information,
discover connections, differentiate between facts and opinions, assess evidence, draw
conclusions, construct arguments on both sides of a debate using the best available
evidence, solve problems, develop and test hypotheses. In this course we will strengthen
critical thinking through in-class discussion, written papers and essay exams that draw
upon the works of art, written texts, and class lectures.
Clear communication: Students must demonstrate the ability to communicate
effectively: to articulate, support, and defend a position using appropriate modes of
communication. In this class students will practice clear communication through in-class
discussion and written assignments.
Information literacy: Students must demonstrate the ability both to use appropriate
media to gather information relative to their major field and to access reliable general
information. In this course students will learn how art objects—paintings, sculpture,
architecture—can serve as “media” for information about a culture as well as learn to use
traditional forms of media such as texts and appropriate websites and databases.
Class Comportment:
Students are expected to exhibit professional and respectful behavior that is conducive to a
mutually beneficial learning environment in the classroom. Inappropriate behavior includes:
eating, drinking, conversing, receiving phone calls, text messaging, late arrivals, early
departures, disrespectful comments, intentional disruptions, and using your laptop for other than
class purposes. Students are not permitted to tape the lectures without the permission of the
instructor. Disabled students must see me on the first day of class so that individual needs can be
Course Requirements:
Readings: Course textbook: Kleiner, Gardner’s Art Through The Ages, 14th Edition.
Examinations: There will be three exams for this course. The dates are noted on the “Lecture
Schedule.” The exams are each worth 25% of your final grade.
NOTE: Examinations missed without prior arrangements with the instructor or a written excuse
for medical or other emergencies cannot be made up. No electronic mail, fax, telephone, or
voice mail is acceptable. If you miss an exam, be sure to speak with me about it. All
assignments for this course must be completed.
Project/Paper: You will produce one project for this course. The dates are noted on the “Lecture
Schedule.” The project is worth 25% of your final grade.
Attendance: Attendance will be taken regularly. Any student who has more than two unexcused
absences may find their grade lowered proportionally.
Class Participation: There will be daily opportunity to contribute meaningfully to class
discussions; THIS IS HIGHLY ENCOURAGED and can help your final grade.
Wiki page for the course:
On Reserve at O’Leary Library: an earlier edition of the course textbook has been placed on
Lecture, Assignment and Examination Schedule: (N.B. Subject to change without prior notice)
Week of:
Jan. 19
Introduction and overview of the course; Prehistoric Art, ch. 1.
Key works: cave paintings at Lascaux, Venus of Willendorf.
Terms: fine arts, decorative art, pigment, ocher, abstract, carved
Jan. 26
Prehistoric Art, chapter 1 cont. ; Ancient Near East, chapter 2 (p. 3145).
Key works: Stonehenge, ziggurat of Ur, Gudea of Lagash.
Terms: megalithic, post and lintel, cone mosaic, conventional (or stylized).
Ancient Egypt, chapter 3.
Key works: Pyramids at Giza, Sphinx, Menkaure, mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut,
Temple of Amun at Karnak, Nebamun Hunting Fowl, Last Judgement of Hunefer.
Terms: dry construction, relief, freestanding, pylon, hypostyle hall, clerestory, obelisk, fresco,
Feb. 2 Ancient Egypt cont.; Aegean Art, chapter 4.
Key works: Cycladic figure, Knossos, Toreador Fresco, Octopus flask, Mycenae, Lion Gate,
Warrior Vase, Tomb of Atreus,
Terms: cyclopean walls, corbelling, beehive tomb.
Feb. 9 Ancient Near East cont (ch. 2, p. 45-52);
Keyworks: Ashurbanipal hunting lions, Persepolis.
Terms: Seven Wonders
**Exam 1: February 11 Wednesday**
Feb. 16
Greek Art, chapter 5.
Keyworks: Parthenon (Elgin Marbles), Kouros, Polykleitos’ Spearbearer, Poseidon, Achilles
and Ajax vase, Nike Adjusting her Sandal, Venus de Milo, Nike of Samothrace, Laocoon.
Terms: Classical Tradition, The Orders (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian), capital, pediment, portico,
contrapposto, naturalistic (idealistic and realistic), amphora, red and black-figure technique,
Feb. 23
Roman Art, chapter 7.
Keyworks: Aule Metele (p. 176); Pantheon, Colosseum, Augustus Primaporta, Equestrian Statue
of Marcus Aurelius, Pompeii paintings (Villa of the Mysteries, Portrait of Husband and Wife);
Arch of Constantine; Trajan’s Column,
Terms: Etruscans. Architecture: arch, barrel vault, keystone, Roman concrete, triumphal arch;
Sculpture: bust, realistic, Pompeii, bronze casting, lost-wax process, Painting: Still-Life,
March 2
Early Christian and Byzantine, chapter 8 and Chapter 9
Keyworks: Santa Costanza, San Apollonaire Nuovo, Mosaic of Christ as the Good Shepherd,
San Vitale, Mosaic of Emperor Justinian, Hagia Sophia, Christ Blessing Icon, Madonna
Terms: Old St. Peter’s, basilica plan, central plan, Byzantine, mosaic, indigo, pendentive, icon,
March 9
Islamic, chapter 10
Key works: Dome of the Rock, Great Mosque of Cordoba, the Alhambra.
Terms: mosque (minaret, qibla wall, mihrab), muqarnas, horseshoe arch, arabesque.
**Exam 2: March 11, Wednesday**
March 16-22: Spring Break
March 23
Buddhist, chapter 15 (and parts of 17); China, chapter 16
Keyworks: Buddha by Jocho, Shrine of Borobudur, Phoenix Hall; Great Wall, Army of the First
Terms: iconography, mandala, bracket set, tribhanga pose, terracotta, pagoda
March 30
Early Medieval, chapter 11
Keyworks: Lindisfarne Gospels, Cover for the Lindau Gospels, Chapel at Aachen, St. Michael’s
Hildesheim, Bishop Bernward Doors, Gero Crucifix.
Terms: illuminated manuscript, vellum, Carolingian, westwork.
Romanesque, chapter 12
Keyworks: St. Sernin, Last Judgement at Autun, Doubting Thomas, Cluny, Bayeux Tapestry.
Terms: Latin cross plan (nave, apse, transept, ambulatory), narrative art, relic/reliquary,
pilgrimage church, tympanum, rib vault, tympanum, cloister, Battle of Hastings
April 6
Romanesque cont.
April 13
Gothic chapter 13
Keyworks: Chartres (the building; the statue group of Sts. Theodore, Stephen, Clement and
Lawrence; the stained glass of Belle Verriere), Ste Chapelle, Notre Dame de Paris, Virgin of
Paris, Salisbury Cathedral, Roettgen Pieta, Castle of Love.
Terms: Abbot Suger, pointed arch, flying buttress, stained glass, gargoyle, ivory.
April 20
Gothic cont.
April 27
Early Renaissance, chapter 14
Key works: Florence Cathedral, Giotto’s Arena Chapel (The Lamentation) and Madonna
Enthroned, Duccio’s Maesta. Martini’s Anunciation.
Terms: herringbone brickwork, triptych
May 4:
**Exam 3: Day to be Announced by Registrar**