LSO172 - Introduction to Art History

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-09-24 01:11:16.931
Last review date 2018-11-07 15:07:15.103

Subject Title
Introduction to Art History

Subject Description
Focusing primarily on Western European art, this course is an introduction to art history. Moving chronologically from the pre-modern era to post-modernity, students will engage with the ways in which works of art act as windows into the historical contexts that inform them. This course will examine how artworks at once build on and transform classical definitions of visual culture, including also the artistic styles and forces that animate them. Students will be encouraged to consider what constitutes "Art" and how art deeply affects human lives, experiences and ways of being in the world.

Credit Status
One lower level Liberal Studies Option (LSO) for Seneca degree students

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  • Identify artworks and situate them in their historical and stylistic contexts
  • Articulate a rough chronology of canonical works and styles presented in the course
  • Foster an appreciation and understanding of the historical, social, economic, religious, cultural and stylistic contexts of styles of art and specific canonical works
  • Examine works of art through an analysis of form (line, shape, colour, texture and composition)
  • Apply critical theory as an analytical framework to the study of culture and cultural production
  • Research, analyze and critique styles and works of art in depth
  • Communicate with an understanding of the terminology and concepts used in art history

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline

  • The Prehistoric cultures of Europe and the early civilizations of the Near and Middle East
  • Classical Art
  • Medieval Art
  • The Renaissance
  • Baroque Art
  • Modern and Contemporary art and ideas

Mode of Instruction
The instructor will use a variety of appropriate teaching modes and techniques, such as lecture, discussion, group work, individual/group presenations, digitial media, consultation and demonstrations.

Prescribed Texts
Kleiner, F.S. Gardner's Art Through the Ages: A Concise Global History, Latest Edition. Cengage Learning

Reference Material
Barnet, S. A Short Guide to Writing about Art, 11th Edition. Pearson

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
To be successful in this course, you must complete all course work as specified and achiee an overall grade of 50% or higher.  For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see a copy of the Academic Policy available at Seneca registration offices.

Term work:
All term assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final exam or last class.  Students must contact faculty in advance of an assignment due date to discuss the possibility of extension.  Late assignments will be subject to a penalty resulting in a lower grade.  If a graded assignment is missed, official documentation must be submitted to the faculty or department on or before the next scheduled class.  Make-up opportunities may not apply to all graded assignments

Term Work 75%
Final Exam 25%

Students are graded on form as well as content.  Marks will be deducted for poor organization of ideas and errors in spelling, grammar and mechanics.

Students are not permitted to use instructional aids during tests or exams

Student Success:
Come prepared to participate in class.  Make sure you bring your course text to each class, participate in class discussions, hand in all graded work on time and attend each scheduled session.  Following these suggestions will increase you chances of success.

Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood