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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.


Visit MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lectures

Assessment method


  • Midterm exam (50%): written exam

  • Final exam (50%): written exam


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.


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.

Reading list

The booktitles and / or syllabi to be used in the course, where it can be purchased and how this literature should be studied beforehand.

  • 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 Brightspace.


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