Art History 160

Understanding the Visual Arts

The Midterm

Course Description and Requirements

Study for the Angel in The Madonna of the Rocks, by Leonardo da Vinci

Schedule of Lectures
Art History Resources On the Web
Resources in Art History for Graduate students
The Perseus Project
Art Historians' Guide to the Movies
The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
The Art Institute of Chicago

On the Midterm

For the midterm you will be given three essay choices; you will work up at least two on your own. In class, you will be given two of the choices and will write on one. The point here is not coming up with the "right" answer (although I will sigh rather deeply if presented with an essay that attributes art to space aliens) but the construction of a clearly organized and well-written essay. Here, you are to take what you know or assemble from your notes from the class and your reading of the text to produce a response informed by your own ideas and interpretations.

You cannot use notes during the writing of the exam in class; I will provide the paper. You would be well-advised to confer and confabulate with your fellow students; do not however each write up an essay and share it with others. I will consider this to be cheating.

Midterm date: Monday, March 7 for the MWF1 and MW classes; and Tuesday March 8 for the TTh class.

The essay directions and choices, for all classes, are these:

For two of the three questions posted here you will prepare essays that are organized and logical, with a beginning, middle, and conclusion. You will cite six to eight works of art as fully explained examples in your essay. Don't just give me a list. You may use examples from anywhere in the book or from the course Website or our lectures. The essay needs to be the equivalent of at least three and no more than five 8.5 by 11 sheets of paper. Don't just write big.

The essay topics for the Midterm are these:

  1. Discuss basic technological developments and changes in construction practices in architecture from antiquity to the 20th/21st century.
  2. Discuss the techniques of illusionism in drawing and painting.
  3. Discuss how spiritual interests can be expressed in art.

Yet More on the Midterm

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