History of Art Courses and Lessons

Art history entails an understanding of world history, especially that of the global west, and aesthetic and cultural analysis, in addition to a general knowledge of famous artists and a timeline of their works.

That means thousands of courses related to art history topics and art history videos are available through Study.com. From traditional art history classes to those that broaden the field to include structural art and music, there is plenty of content to satisfy any art student.

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What is Art History?

Art history is a discipline that studies the historical dimension of art, along with the timeline of styles and movements of art, artists, and their preserved works. Art historians also concern themselves with the themes and meaning behind art pieces, the techniques and materials used in making them, and the sociocultural context these artists and often their patrons lived. These historians primarily investigate the age of a work of art, which is often concurrent with its particular style and the subject of the piece, which can tell them much about the culture that produced it. They also seek out information on the creator of any given work of art, including their cultural and socioeconomic cache, along with data on the patron that had it commissioned, if possible.

The types of art studied by the discipline of art history include:

  • Pictorial or two-dimensional art like drawings, photos, and paintings.
  • Sculpture, or traditional three-dimensional art, from ancient to contemporary times.
  • The craft arts or artistic objects with utilitarian purposes like jewelry and ceramics.
  • Architecture has artistic structural elements that often coincide with movements in the history of art.

In recent years, computer-generated art and even some instances of the performing arts are also gradually becoming more accepted for analysis and curation by art historians.

Art history has its roots in the aesthetic analysis of the Greco-Roman era, making it one of the oldest academic disciplines known as the humanities. These fields of study are concerned with all the creations of the human mind and heart. While they often include sociocultural context in their work, they lack a background in scientific methodology and the use of social theory necessary to classify the discipline as a social science. This characteristic is the primary difference between the history of art and a discipline like archaeology, which studies cultures based on their material remains and technology.

Art History Test Prep

Study.com's art test prep courses can help students prepare for exams that can lead to college credit or provide teaching credentials. High school students seeking college credit in art history can study using the AP Art History Prep, while non-traditional students can benefit from the DSST Art of the Western World course. Prospective teachers can prepare for the Praxis exam with the Praxis Art Prep Course. All courses are designed to help students review art history themes and feel confident when they take these important exams.

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