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History of Art

EXAMINATION BOARD: Edexcel

History of Art is an intellectually challenging course that teaches pupils how to engage with art and architecture both past and present. No prior art historical knowledge is necessary, although an interest and base knowledge of History would be a bonus as the work is viewed through thematic areas of study, such as historical, political and social contexts. Pupils will be taught the main elements contained within the language of painting, sculpture and architecture; key works for study being chosen from all the main periods of art history dating back to circa 500 BC.

Through small group discussion and visits to museums and galleries pupils will learn how to use correct terminology to describe works of art and to compare and contrast different works. A series of essays will provide a base to assess pupils’ knowledge and improving sensibilities.

In a world where the power and content of images seems to prevail, and where art is fast becoming a way to engage and express our contemporary situation, the study of images and artefacts can illuminate the cultural present.

Pupils will:

  • Be introduced to works of art within social and historical context and develop confidence in placing that work within the broader framework of art history.
  • Develop a higher sense of understanding of works of art through correct analysis and use of terminology.
  • Learn to write successful, insightful essays which reflect an ability to present arguments and to be aware of subjective and objective interpretations of a work of art and architecture.
  • Be prepared for the written exam where they are required to analyse works of art and present considered arguments about different styles and techniques.

Course Specification