History of Art I – ARTS 201

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is a chronological survey of Western art and architecture from Prehistoric times to the 15th century, with the goal of analyzing works of art from a Christian worldview. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary development with special emphasis on methods of critical analysis of works of art. Students are responsible for maintenance of portfolio assignments. This portfolio will be used for class discussion periodically and turned in at the end of the semester.

Prerequisites: None


The purpose of this course is to broaden the student’s Christian worldview through the examination of art, archaeology, and visual culture. This course will enable the student to think critically about the nature of creativity and the notion of artistic genius. We live in a visual world. Art is everywhere—from graffiti on the streets, to architecture, monuments, film, advertisements, and in museums—and this course will help the student decode and understand the meaning of visual culture from prehistory to the Middle Ages, and in turn, his/her own culture. Understanding, looking at, and thinking about the way images communicate meaning is important in comprehending the world. The critical study of the complex relationships between Christianity and the visual arts reveals a unique opportunity to combine faith and academics in a meaningful and enlightening manner. The student’s Christian worldview will be enriched by studying the history of divine-inspired human creativity.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Define and use in discussion terminology commonly used in reference to the History of Art.
  2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of historical timelines, cultural and philosophical influences, and artistic influences on artists and art movements from cave art to contemporary art.
  3. Critically analyze works of art, artists, and art movements according to their formative influences and identify ways in which they have influenced others.
  4. Integrate knowledge of Art History information into his/her art assignments in practical ways.
  5. Discover spiritual meanings within works of art by using a method of art criticism from a Christian perspective.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be at least 200 words, demonstrate course-related knowledge, and include at least 1 Biblical principle. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 100 words.

Virtual Tours and Journal Entries (4)

The student will complete virtual tours through various museums and historic locations. Each assignment must have a journal entry of at least 400 words and contain at least 1 academic citation in current MLA format (Citation must be an academic source from the Jerry Falwell Library, not including the textbook, tour website, or the Bible).

Virtual Exhibition Project

The student will compose a thematic virtual art exhibition. Students will use Google Arts Project to find images and Prezi or Powerpoint to create the virtual exhibition.

Case Study Projects (2)

The student will complete projects based on different historical works of art. Each case study will contain a hand drawn or computer generated design and a PowerPoint presentation. Each slide will contain at least one image and a written description (requirements for number of slides and words required varies per assignment).

Visual Analysis (1)

The student will click through the visual analysis to learn about Romanesque Architecture. No writing required.

Reading Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module/week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 20 multiple-choice questions, and have no time limit.