Not too easy. Not too difficult.
Think of this course as your ultimate guidebook to Europe, Egypt, Mesopotamia plain and all the places that are far away yet full of mysteries and wonders. It introduces you with man-made miracles in architecture: pyramids, Greek temples and Gothic church... It presents you with the luxury of powerful kingdoms and dynasties: sculpture of Roman Empire,wall painting of ancient Egypt, sailing boats of the Viking... With this guidebook, you'll see through the external features of artworks to grasp the cultural and historical content lying behind;you'll be given a new pair of eyes after analyzing them on papers or in a museum. It will familiarize you with all the background knowledge and analytical skills needed before you set foot on the exotic land and admire the human legacy in your own eyes.
I think the highlights of this course lie in the analytical perspective in which we approach the artwork. This view point reveals the correlation and contrast between different cultures and time periods, which helps us see through the objects and discover the social aspects of the art. In this course, the artworks are not dead objects to be worshiped but the embodiment of cultures with unique motifs and spirits. Through this course, I've gained a lot of analytical skills such as formal analysis and making comparisons, which help me understand the artwork in a higher level and promote my logical and critical thinking skills in the writing processes.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
The most important thing is to do the reading and make it yours. I find it very critical to develope some personal feelings towards certain artistic styles and time periods after getting acquainted with the text. For example, in my mind, the Romans love Greek art; Gothic churches are insanely high with super fancy stained glasses. Making the facts fun and personal will definitely help you memorize and recognize them quickly and precisely. Also, the paper assignments are crutical in this course. Make sure to find a specific thesis and support your argument with plenty of facts and evidence. But do remember, the fact itself won't make a good paper! It is the way you incorporate them in your arguments that makes your paper yours instead of another version of the textbook. So, remember to go to the office hour and let your professor help evaluate your draft and make sure you're on the right track.