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Art in Western Europe - 1800


Admission requirements

Same as admission requirements for the BA Art History/BA Arts, Media and Society.


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 of society on art. 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 the Dutch Golden Age. We will focus on artists such as Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, but also on Bernini, Rubens, Vermeer and Rembrandt and women painters such as Lavinia Fontana, Artemisia Gentileschi and Rachel Ruysch.

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


  • Written mid-term examination with multiple choice and short open questions

  • Written final examination with essay questions


  • Written mid-term examination with multiple choice and short open questions: 40%

  • Written final examination with essay questions: 60%

The weighted average of the (constituent) examinations must be at least 6.0 (= a pass). The marks for the mid-term examination and the final examination must be at least 6.0 at (= a pass).


A resit/ rewrite can be done for constituent examinations which are failed. As far as applicable all resits/ rewrites take place at the same time, after the final (constituent) examination.

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 My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

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