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Modern and Contemporary Visual Art and Photography after 1800


Admission requirements

Similar to the admission requirements for the BA Arts, Media and Society.


Visual art of the Modern and Contemporary period is widely diverse. In order to make sense of this diversity, we will structure our exploration along themes, which run through both the art itself and the art historical research. Concepts such as romanticism, avant garde, expressionism, the sublime, realism, abstraction, formalism and modernism can be seen to run through art from 1800 to the present. Current topics such as postmodernism, digital photography, video art and the global art world will of course also make their appearance in the course. Depending on the theme, the form, medium, content or function of the artworks will be the focal point. In addition to this, the discussion about the transition from ‘pre-modern’ to ‘modern’ art will play a role in our lectures. The traditional division of art into movements, as often used in handbooks, will not be ignored, but a thematic approach will prove more useful in discussing the relationships.

Course objectives

  • Students learn to know the important art objects from the recent past and gain insight into the most studied questions in the field of modern and contemporary art.

  • Students learn to recognize and date objects from art history of the modern period, to place these within stylistic, cultural and historical contexts in which they function.

  • Students learn to know the technical and material aspects of art production since 1800 (industrial production of paints, photographic techniques, video etc.) and the ways in which these can determine the appearance of art objects.

  • Students develop a critical attitude towards art historical literature.


The timetable is available on the Bachelor Arts, Media and Society

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Course Load

Total course load: 5 ECTS (140 hours)

  • 28 hours: Lectures (4 hours x 7 weeks)

  • 30 hours: Preparing for lectures using hand-outs and Powerpoints

  • 20 hours: Preparing for exams

  • 04 hours: Exams (2 x 2 uur)

  • 58 hours: Studying literature (200 pp at 4-5 pp hour)

140 hours

Assessment method

  • Midterm exam (50%): written exam

  • Final exam (50%): written exam

Compensation: the average of both exams has to be a 6.0 or higher (rounded off to one decimal point). Grades below 5.0 for either of the exams are not permitted.

Resit: for each of the two exams a resit is possible.

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.


Blackboard will be used for: making available assigned readings, scheduling, lecture notes (powerpoints), announcements etc.

Reading list

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

  • Additional texts will be made available through Blackboard.

Students are expected to read the assigned literature for a lecture before that lecture.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs


Dr. L.M.F. (Laura) Bertens