Survey of Western Art History 131

Ancient to Medieval

The Midterm

On the Midterm

Laocoon. 1st century AD copy of the Hellenistic original by Athanadoros, Hagesandros, and Polydoros of Rhodes.
Now in the Vatican City Museums.

Back to the Course Main Page
Course Description and Requirements
List of Monuments
Schedule of Lectures
On the Quizzes
Art History Resources On the Web
The Perseus Project
Art Historians' Guide to the Movies
The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
The Glory of Byzantine Art
Web site of a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


The Midterm is Thursday October 11 for the TTH class; Friday October 12 for the MWF class and Monday October 15 for the Honorable class.

The Midterm will be an essay which you will compose outside of class and then write during the midterm examination period. It will cover the material seen in class from the beginning of the course to just before the date of the midterm. Here's how it works:
Everyone in the class will be given three essay questions of a general type. Of the three, each of you will write up two outside of class. When you come to class, you will be given a bluebook and a piece of paper which will contain two of the questions: 1 and 2, or 2 and 3, or 1 and 3. You will pick one of the questions and write a response to that one. Since you will have prepared two of the three questions outside of class, the midterm should take you no longer than just writing down your previously-composed essay.

You may use any combination of works of art from any three of the chapters we have covered up to the day before the midterm. So, you may use one work from a chapter, three from another, and another three or four from yet another (for a maximum total of eight)

You will probably find it easiest to put the works you wish to discuss in chronological order. You may of course use two works, for example, from two different chapters that share the same date.

You may find it helpful to organize your examples as a series of compare/contrast(s).

If you have questions you may e-mail me (; you may send a summary of your ideas for one of the topics, but please don't send me anything like a full essay--I cannot read it.

As mentioned in class, the essay should be four to five (8 1/2 x 11) handwritten pages long--as needed to form an adequate response. Bluebooks will be provided; you need bring only a writing utensil.

No slides will be shown during the midterm. You may not use any notes in writing up the midterm, and you may not use any computers, IPODs, or suchlike devices.

When you have finished the midterm exam, hand in the bluebook and the essay question paper. If your bluebook is returned without the essay question paper,you will receive no credit for the exam.

Please do not be late. You have only our class period for this. If you have to leave the room for any reason during the midterm you cannot return.

Do not miss the midterm. Only the most extreme misfortunes will provide an acceptable excuse.


For each essay, you will need to discuss a minimum of six works of art and no more than eight from at least three chapters from our text. The number of artworks is kept low so that you may discuss each one adequately.

Do not just submit a list. It is a good idea to memorize your introduction and your conclusion. The quality of the construction of the essay counts along with the content itself. Spelling is not important, but I do need to be able to be able to understand your reference. Oh, and try to write neatly--I have bad eyes!

Here they are:

  1. Discuss the changes and developments of the portrayal of the human body throughout this period of the course.
  2. Discuss religious architecture: how does its design reflect the interests and requirements of a particular group?
  3. Write an essay on the different ways of commemorating the dead.
Note that students who miss the exam will be required to sit through my hour long slide show on Cats in Italy before any retake is allowed

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