University of Notre Dame

Introduction to Western Art from Leonardo to Warhol

Course Number: ARHI 20310

This course provides an introduction to key works and themes in Western art from the Renaissance to the twentieth century. Focusing on a selection of key monuments, artists, and examples of art historical scholarship, and by looking back to classical values and models as well as forward to contemporary debates, we will explore various ways in which Western art has been made, used, and interpreted. The course will concentrate on building fundamental analytic skills necessary to the study of art, and will consider works of art both from an aesthetic perspective and in the context of the individual, cultural, social, and economic conditions of their production and reception. Topics will include an investigation of the history of the discipline, the use of objects, and a consideration of how the various practices and processes known as “art” have engaged society and the world. By looking at – and talking about – specific aesthetic phenomena, the course will survey the general history of modern representation and its alternatives.