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Art history has historically been understood as the academic study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style. This includes the "major" arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture as well as the "minor" arts of ceramics, furniture, and other decorative objects. ~Wikipedia

The digital age has made the pursuit of art history, both as a vocation and an avocation, much more exciting and productive. Assuming you are not already familiar with the painting shown here, you should be able  to determine the artist, the time period, and the meaning of the painting in less than ten minutes.

A Note of Caution for Self-Directed Learners

Self-directed learners should be aware that there are two distinctly different approaches to the study of art history.

The more obvious approach puts together the words, art and history, in the most straightforward way. We have a good  idea what art is and what history is:  history + art = a history of art, or art studied from an historical perspective. This is the sort of art  history most self-directed learners expect to pursue.

The less obvious approach uses the same two words-- art and history--but adds an invisible third word: philosophy. Not the everyday, garden variety philosophy, but the sort of academic discipline that  uses methods of formal argumentation and an obtuse language that appeal only to other art-history-philosophy experts. You can know you have stumbled across this variety of art history when you find yourself getting bored or thinking, "What tha ...?"


Online resources that provide an overview of the subject. These are especially
helpful for learners who are searching for subjects that suit their needs and
personal interests.

Resource Publisher
Overview of Art History Wikipedia

These free online resources are selected for  their relevance, quality,  and accessibility.

Art Through Time: A Global View
Docututorial series from Annenberg Learner
Art Techniques and Media
A series of video tutorials
Elements of Art: Line, Shape, Texture, and Color
A series of video tutorials

Topics included in these free online learning resources are roughly equivalent to one- or two-semester courses in a traditional school environment.

Art Through Time
An interactive course
Courtesy of Annenberg Learner








David L. Heiserman, Editor

Copyright   SweetHaven Publishing Services
All Rights Reserved

Revised: June 06, 2015