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Art in Western Europe - 1800


Admission requirements

There are no additional requirements.


This series of lectures covers the visual arts and architecture from the times of the Greeks and Romans to the French Revolution. The focus will be on the impact of art on society and society on art in the geographic territory of western Europe. Works of art discussed in Gardner will be analyzed from three different perspectives: cultural transfer and transmission, innovation and how these artworks communicated with contemporary audiences. The aim of the course is to show the connections between different periods and artistic developments. It covers Antiquity, Medieval and Gothic art and architecture, The International Style and the Flemish Primitives, the visual arts in Florence in the 15th and 16th centuries, Renaissance and Baroque Rome and 17th century Dutch painting. We will focus on artists such as Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, but also on Bernini, Artemisia Gentileschi, Rubens, Vermeer and Rembrandt and consider religious art and architecture of Muslim and Jewish traditions as well as Christianity.

Course Objectives

  • Students learn to analyze and understand works of art from Antiquity to the end of the eighteenth century.

  • Students learn to recognize and date the most important works of art from this period.

  • Students learn to analyze the characteristics of different styles in different periods.

  • Students learn to put works of art in their cultural context.

  • Students learn to apply concepts such as innovation, cultural transfer and cultural transmission related to key works of art presented in the course materials.

  • Students learn to be aware of the function of art, how it was interpreted by contemporaries and how it interacted with patrons and contemporary viewers.

  • Students learn to develop a critical attitude towards the art historical literature concerning this period.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Assessment method


  • Digital written mid-term examination with multiple choice and short open questions. The mid-term covers the contents of the first six weeks of the course.

  • Digital written final examination with essay questions. The final exam covers the content from the second six weeks of the course.


  • Written mid-term examination with multiple choice and short open questions (40%).

  • Written final examination with essay questions (60%).

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. To successfully complete the course the weighted average needs to be a passing grade (5.5 and higher).


If the end grade is insufficient (5,4 or below) for either the midterm or final or both and together the weighted average of both exams does not equal a passing grade (5,5 (rounded off to a 6,0) or higher), it is possible to take a resit examination for the failed midterm and/or the final exam.
It is generally not allowed to resit an examination for which the student has received a pass (5,5 or higher). Should a student with a 5.5 or higher seek special permission to resit an exam, a request can only be made in writing to the Exam Committee.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will be organized.

Reading list

  • Fred S. Kleiner, Gardner’s Art through the Ages. A Global History 16th edition (or 15th edition), International Edition). Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2016. [ISBN-13: 9781285754994 / ISBN-10:1285754999]

  • Chapters will be announced on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.
General information about course and exam enrolment is available on the website

Registration À la carte education, Contract teaching and Exchange

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of À la carte education (without taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.

Information for those interested in taking this course in context of Contract teaching (with taking examinations), eg. about costs, registration and conditions.
For the registration of exchange students contact Humanities International Office.