Queen's University


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Instructor: Dr Ruth Cereceda

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A chronological survey of painting, sculpture and architecture in western culture from Greece and Rome through to the early modern period. The art works will be studied at British galleries, museums and architectural monuments.

Available only at the Bader International Study Centre, Herstmonceux, Fall 2018

EXCLUSION    No more than 9.0 units from ARTH 116/3.0; ARTH 117/3.0; ARTH 120/6.0.

This course is designed for first year students, with no previous art history background, but is also attractive as an upper year elective to students from both the arts and humanities backgrounds as well as a counterpoint to those majoring in the sciences. It is based on classes at the BISC reinforced by two primary source visits to the National Gallery and Canterbury Cathedral. The course traces the chronological development from Greek classical architecture and sculpture through Gothic Architecture to the Renaissance and the Baroque. The paintings that are explored on this course are from c1300 – c1650 and begin with Giotto and the Arena chapel in Padua. This is followed by a strong focus on Italian Renaissance art and sculpture while the dialogue between that and the Northern Renaissance is also discussed, and the Baroque is studied towards the end of the semester. Students are encouraged to explore the art of the National Gallery London, as well as paintings and sculptures from other major European Galleries seen in class. There are no pre-requisites for this course.

Learning outcomes

  • Students learn to evaluate primary source paintings in the National Gallery, and differentiate between the various periods of Romanesque and Gothic architecture at Canterbury Cathedral, as well as sculptures and paintings from other European Galleries seen in class and to recognize difference in style, technique and facture.
  • Through the study of European cultural politics and social history, the student can address issues that relate to these images and architectural sites, by approaching them with an increased visual acumen and a stronger critical focus.
  • The course aims to provide students with a cultural awareness of European art, sculpture and architecture and an analytical basis from which they can build in future years.

Experiential learning opportunities

Experiential learning opportunities for art history are unique in that they provide students with a range of primary sources out there in the art gallery and architectural sites that are essential to an understanding of the architecture and paintings studied on the course. For both the National Gallery and the exterior of Canterbury Cathedral the students are given audiophones so that they can hear me talking to them, and are able to take part in a discussion in a crowded National Gallery. Each tour will last one hour and a half and will replace a class at the BISC because, this way, students are taught in front of the primary sources.

The National Gallery ELO

This ELO will focus on the Italian and Northern Renaissance and the Baroque paintings all situated in the West Wing, and will provide the basis for the mid-term research paper due Week 6. Although the student does not have to choose a painting from the National Gallery, seeing primary source paintings will still help the student understand the difference in style and medium.

The Canterbury Cathedral ELO

This ELO explores the development of Romanesque and Gothic architecture through the building of Canterbury Cathedral begun in 1070, with the Romanesque Crypt of Prior Anselm, to the Bell Harry Tower fan vaulting of 1503. Students will learn to recognise the different Romanesque and Gothic building phases and will be able to apply this to any future visits to Cathedrals in Europe. 


There is an end of term slide test worth 40% of the term’s mark, where the student is expected to compare and contrast a pair of paintings or sculptures for ten minutes, and then write on ten single slides for six minutes per slide. A review list of slides for this slide test will be given to the student ten days before the slide test. The total slide test lasts one hour and ten minutes and will take place during weeks 13 or 14 of the Fall Term.


When both ARTH 116 and ARTH 117 are taken they exclude ARTH 120.

Bader International Study Centre
Herstmonceux Castle
Hailsham, East Sussex
United Kingdom, BN27 1RN
Phone: +44 1323 834444
Fax: +44 1323 834499
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Undergraduate Admission and Recruitment
Gordon Hall, 74 Union Street
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
Canada, K7L 3N6
Phone: (613) 533-2218
Fax: (613) 533-6810
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