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Art History. An introduction to Art History. What is Art?. Survey questions. Is this Art?. Is this Art?. Is this Art?. Is this Art?. SUPPLIES.

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art history

Art History

An introduction to Art History.

what is art

What is Art?

Survey questions

  • Binder: You will need to keep your notes organized and all of the handouts organized. YOU WILL NEED A SEPARATE BINDER FOR THIS COURSE (2.5 inch is large enough).
  • Note cards: You will need to keep note cards handy for each of the units. (Several Packs)
  • Annotated Mona Lisa: This is HIGHLY recommended text, this will be essential for simplifying the information of the course.
course website
Course Website
  • Other Helpful websites:

You will be learning a great deal of new vocabulary words over the next two semesters.

Some words will be ones you recognize, but they will have different meanings in this subject.

It’s important you study the vocabulary.

ap exam
AP Exam
  • Part A - Multiple Choice (40% of the test) 1 hour
    • 20 minutes - 5 sets of MC questions matched with images (7-9 MC questions each)
    • 40 Minutes - 85 MC questions.
  • Part B - Short Answer (60% of the test)
    • (2) 30 minute essay questions using your own image knowledge- At Least One Beyond Western Tradition example needed. NO PREHISTORIC, ANCIENT NEAR EAST, OR EGYPTIAN.
    • (6) 10 minute “free response” questions using one or two provided images.
ap exam1
AP Exam
  • Art History Content
    • Architecture - 25%
    • Sculpture - 25%
    • Painting / 2D - 50%
ap exam2
AP Exam
  • Western Tradition: 80%
    • Ancient to Medieval - 30% (1st Semester)
    • Renaissance to Present - 50% (2nd Semester)
  • Non-Western Tradition: 20%
    • Including: Egypt, Ancient Near East, Africa, India, MesoAmerica, Japan, China, Native American, South Seas. (1st and 2nd Semester)

Western Art:Art History is approached most commonly from the western tradition, which includes Europe and later artists influenced by Europeans. This is generally because it is where art historians have the largest amount of information and variety of styles.

When a person looks at art generally they…
  • … react to what they see,
  • … interpret the work in the light of their own experiences,
  • … judge it as a success or a failure.


“Art appreciation doesn’t require a knowledge of the historical context of an artwork (or building). Art History does”
Art History is important for understanding History and History is important for understanding History.
what to look for in a work of art
What to look for in a work of art…
  • Objectives components: Title, Artist/Architect, and Date.
  • Context: Where it was made, Who commissioned it?
  • Content: What is in the artwork, the iconography
  • Formal Attributes: The Period and Style of the work.
  • Art Media and Technique: How was the piece made and what did they use to make it.
what do you know about the artistic style
What do you know about the artistic style?
  • Period Style: Artistic characteristics of a specific time period, some time periods don’t have artistic styles.
  • Regional Style: Geographical Styles.
  • Personal Style: Particular methods and themes of creating an individual artistic styles.
what is the subject matter of the work of art
What is the subject matter of the work of art?
  • Genre: These are images of daily life.
  • Landscapes: An image where the subject is Land.
  • Portrait: An image where the subject is a person.
  • Iconography: Means “writing of images” refers to content (subject) and the study of the symbols of the art (images that stand for other objects or ideas).
It is essential to know who paid for the work (Patron) and when possible who made the artwork (Artist/Architect).

Review how to take notes on Art History. Remember you should be thinking about theses concepts as you take notes and study throughout the year.