Part I Concepts and Categories: to provide a thorough foundation in the historical concepts and categories employed in the analysis of works of art. Examples include: the meaning of style; artistic ‘schools’; iconography and symbolism; the meaning of ‘genre’ and different artistic genres; the distinction between ‘fine’ and ‘applied’ art; the figure of the artist.
Part II Methods and Interpretations: to give a thorough introduction to the various approaches and methods used in the interpretation of works of art, with a particular focus on recent methods and the debates that have been prompted by their application. Examples include: formal analysis; semiology; the social history of art; gender studies; studies of patronage and the art market; biography; the art history survey.
These themes are explored in relation to individual artworks that are studied both in reproduction and also in situ, in the Barber or in study trips to, for example, London or Liverpool.
The module also introduces students to good practice in oral seminar presentations and essay writing.