Advanced Studies in Baroque Art – ARTS 503

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

Course Description

We shall examine the development of art and architecture in Italy, Spain, France, and the Lowlands, centering upon the works of seminal artists including Caravaggio, Bernini, Borromini, Velazquez, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Van Dyck. Accordingly, we shall investigate how the art of the period reflects the Christian worldview as it took shape in the wake of the Reformation and Counter Reformation.




A knowledge of the art of the Baroque period remains of enormous importance for the historian of western civilization and for the practicing artist. The innovations and masterpieces created during the seventeenth century in Europe exemplified foundational cognitive and technical developments that become vital to anyone wishing to understand the western tradition of the visual arts and to work within that tradition intelligently.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Recognize the primary artists and masterpieces of the Baroque period.
  2. Define the major technical developments utilized by these artists.
  3. Contextualize particular artworks within the greater scope of history and western civilization, relating them to the whole of the tradition that comprises this heritage, in theory and practice.
  4. Express observations and critical opinions concerning the visual arts of the Baroque period via tests, interactive lectures, class discussions, and research papers.

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 (3)

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 500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge with at least 1 example of artwork and 1 biblical integration. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to the threads of at least 2 classmates. Each reply must be at least 250 words.

Virtual Tours and Journal Entries (2)

The student will complete virtual tours through various museums and historic locations. Each assignment requires a Journal Entry of at least 500 words and must contain at least 1 scholarly citation in current MLA format. The Journal Entry must be based on the tour and the assigned reading for each assignment. The citation must be an academic, peer-reviewed article or book from the Jerry Falwell Library online databases. The citation cannot include the Bible, course textbooks, the tour website, or non-academic websites.

Research Paper

The student will write a 1,500–1,700-word research-based paper in current MLA format that focuses on the provided topic. The paper must include at least 5 references in addition to the course textbooks and the Bible. The paper will be submitted in three parts: Annotated Bibliography, Introduction and Thesis Statement, and the Final.

Annotated Bibliography

The student will submit a working bibliography with 5–7 annotated entries of at least 100 words per source. Sources must be academic and obtained through the Jerry Falwell Library. The course textbooks and the Bible do not count toward the required number of citations. Current MLA format must be used.

Introduction and Thesis Statement

The student will complete a draft of the introduction and thesis statement that is 200–300 words. Current MLA format must be used.


The student will submit the final draft of the research paper, which must be 1,500–1,700 words contain at least 5 sources in addition to the required course reading and the Bible. The title page and works cited do not apply towards the word count. Current MLA format must be used.

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 10 multiple-choice questions, and have a time limit of 2 hours and 45 minutes.