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Ch 20: Visual Art History

About This Chapter

This chapter provides an overview of visual art history. Through a series of engaging lessons, you'll review a diverse array of visual art styles and periods while fleshing out related historical information and developments.

Visual Art History - Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at a wide variety of visual art forms and traits through a historical lens. You'll learn about the periods in which different kinds of visual art developed while looking into related cultural details. Topics covered include Byzantine art, Baroque sculpture, and Gothic painting, as well as all of the following:

  • The history of ancient Egyptian and Greek art
  • Characteristics of Roman and early Christian art
  • Stylistic details of Baroque painting
  • Key aspects and figures of Renaissance art
  • Art during the Protestant Reformation
  • Stained glass windows
  • Gothic sculpture
  • Carolingian and Impressionist art
  • Elements of Post-Impressionism and Neoclassical art

These lessons allow you to choose between a video or transcript of the content, depending on the way you learn best. The timeline feature beneath each video provides a simple way of hopping around main facets of the lessons while the transcripts are full of bolded terms that point out key topics.

15 Lessons in Chapter 20: Visual Art History
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Ancient Egyptian Art: History and Style

1. Ancient Egyptian Art: History and Style

This lesson provides a brief look at the exquisite art of the Ancient Egyptians. Egyptian art contains images of people and deities that represent the culture in which they lived.

Ancient Greek Art, Pottery and Sculpture

2. Ancient Greek Art, Pottery and Sculpture

A survey of the transitions in Greek art, with special emphasis placed on the importance of materials and technique. This lecture explores Greek pottery styles from geometric to Orientalizing to black- and red-figure vases. It then turns to sculpture from Archaic styles to realism to idealism. Slides are shown throughout to get students familiar with these Greek styles.

Roman Art: History, Characteristics & Style

3. Roman Art: History, Characteristics & Style

This lesson offers a basic outline of Roman art. We begin by examining the Greek roots of Roman art. Then, we look at the three predominant forms of Roman art: sculpture, murals and mosaics.

Byzantine Art: Mosaics, History & Characteristics

4. Byzantine Art: Mosaics, History & Characteristics

This lesson covers Byzantine art and explains the difficulties of imposing artistic periods. Justinian is introduced as the man behind the Byzantine Golden Age. We explore the interesting dynamic between Byzantine imperialism and Christian religion. Finally, we take a brief look at eastern religious icons.

Early Christian Art: History, Characteristics & Symbolism

5. Early Christian Art: History, Characteristics & Symbolism

This lesson covers the development of early Christian art. We begin in the catacombs of Rome, looking at early Christian frescoes. We then move to later sarcophagi. A brief survey of early Christian mosaics follows, and we close with the fine art of illuminated manuscripts.

Baroque Painting: Style, Characteristics & Artists

6. Baroque Painting: Style, Characteristics & Artists

This lesson covers the development of Baroque painting as it spread across Europe. We explore the works of Caravaggio in Italy, Velazquez in Spain, Rubens in Belgium, Lorrain in France and Rembrandt in Holland.

Baroque Sculpture: Characteristics & Style

7. Baroque Sculpture: Characteristics & Style

In this lesson, we explore the development of Baroque sculpture across Europe, from the creations of the Italian genius, Bernini, to France and the sculptural excellence of Puget's glorified King Louis XIV. We'll also stop in Germany, Spain and Belgium.

Renaissance Art: Artists, Paintings, Sculptures & Architecture

8. Renaissance Art: Artists, Paintings, Sculptures & Architecture

In this lesson, we will be discussing Renaissance art, focusing primarily on paintings, sculptures, and architecture. We will also be learning how humanism affected the art of this time period.

Art in the Protestant Reformation: Albrecht Durer & Northern European Artists

9. Art in the Protestant Reformation: Albrecht Durer & Northern European Artists

The Protestant Reformation introduced some pretty substantial changes into European society. In this lesson, we'll be talking about some of the impacts it had on the art of Northern Europe.

Gothic Painting: Style & Characteristics

10. Gothic Painting: Style & Characteristics

This lesson follows the development of two trends in Gothic painting: realism and perspective. We explore the origins of these movements in Italian Gothic masters, like Duccio, Giotto and the Lorenzetti Brothers, and their later expression in Northern European illuminations.

Gothic Sculpture and Stained Glass Windows: Characteristics & Style

11. Gothic Sculpture and Stained Glass Windows: Characteristics & Style

In this lesson, we cover the development of Gothic architectural decoration, specifically decorative sculpture and stained glass windows. You'll learn about Gothic use of stained glass and the evolution of sculpture from Romanesque decoration to Gothic statues.

Carolingian Art: History, Style & Characteristics

12. Carolingian Art: History, Style & Characteristics

This lesson covers the art of the Carolingian Renaissance. We'll explore the causes of the Carolingian Renaissance, then see how the art of illumination was adapted for new uses. Then we'll discuss treasure bindings and finish with a quick survey of the few other surviving forms of Carolingian art.

Impressionist Art: Characteristics & Artists

13. Impressionist Art: Characteristics & Artists

In this lesson, we will explore Impressionism. We will learn about the founding of the Impressionist movement, the major characteristics of Impressionism, and a few of the primary Impressionist artists.

Post-Impressionism: Between Impressionism & Modernism

14. Post-Impressionism: Between Impressionism & Modernism

In this lesson, we will explore Post-Impressionism, which was an artistic reaction to the Impressionist movement that swept the art world in the 1870s and 1880s. We will focus on the characteristics and artists of Post-Impressionism.

Neoclassical, 19th-Century & Modern Sculpture

15. Neoclassical, 19th-Century & Modern Sculpture

This lesson will present the history of sculpture in the late 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. We will look at Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Symbolism, the art of Auguste Rodin, and the movements of 20th- century sculpture.

Chapter Practice Exam
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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