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Junior Freshman (JF) - first year

JF Art History presents a general introduction to the canon of western art history. It comprises a chronological survey of key developments and major artists and groups from antiquity to the present. This historical and geographical outline structure provides a platform for the more focused modules that follow from second year onwards. Introduction to the History of European Art and Architecture 1 (IHEAA 1) in Michaelmas term follows the development of art from classical times to the period of the Sack of Rome (1520), while IHEAA 2 takes up the narrative from the sixteenth century to the present. This introduction necessarily concentrates on the highlights, so particular attention is given, for example, to the establishment of classical principles, the High Middle Ages, the Italian Renaissance, the 'golden age' of northern art in the seventeenth century, the era of Impressionism, and the challenges of Modernism. The artists and architects introduced include such monumental figures as Brunelleschi, Michaelangelo, Rembrandt, Bernini, Caravaggio, Monet, Picasso, Le Corbusier, and many others.

In presenting the canon of art history, the approach is largely foundational and prepares the way for the following years where a more specialised and questioning approach is encouraged, and where alternative methodologies and approaches are introduced to the exploration and analysis of visual expression.

As no prior knowledge of art history is required, JF modules begin at an introductory level. However, they are both extensive and intensive and require full commitment to avoid the risk of students falling behind. It is vital to maintain attendance and to keep up with reading and with the study of art works and buildings.

The two-part survey is supplemented by a further module, Introduction to the Practice of Art History (IPAH). This module focuses on the principles of art history and some other aspects of visual culture, examining and explaining the methods of production, conventions both of representation and of the reading of image and space, as well as the functional relationships, such as between the artist and patron and/or the public.


Students are assessed through coursework, tests and examinations. Full details will be provided to students at the start of the course.

The summer examination in JF History of Art consists of two three-hour papers, one in each of Introduction to the History of European Art and Architecture 1 and 2. Each paper comprises a choice of essay questions plus a compulsory photographic question involving the identification and discussion of a selection of the illustrations provided of works of art and architecture.

The Introduction to the Practice of Art History is assessed through coursework submitted throughout the year.

Late Essay Policy

Deadlines must be met. Extensions will be granted by the Head of Department ONLY on medical or ad misericordiam grounds only.
Extensions on medical grounds must be supported by a doctor's certificate.
An extension must be sought at least 24 hours before the deadline, even if only by e-mail. Late essays will automatically be marked as 0%, UNLESS accompanied by an authorised extension sheet (.doc, 37kb).

Last updated 1 September 2016