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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Term: 1

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Sally McKay


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 417

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23675

Office Hours: Thursdays, 10:00-11:00 am

Course Objectives:

Course Description and Objectives: This course introduces students to the visual arts through a consideration of principles and elements of media such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, textiles and architecture and a discussion of various genres, from antiquity to the present day. Lectures will present discussion on a range of media and techniques. Formal considerations of artworks will be contextualized within discussions on past and present definitions of art, the practice of art history and critical issues such as feminism, the post-colonial discourse, and gender politics. Weekly readings are assigned from the course text.


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:



Method of Assessment:

Course Evaluation: The final grade for this course will derive from the following pieces of work.


Short Written Assignment: 10%

Due in class, Sept. 20

(500 words plus citation)

Assignment details and guidelines will be posted on Avenue to Learn. It is your responsibility to be familiar with all guidelines and procedures.


Test: 20%

In class, Oct. 10

30 minutes, 15 fill in the blank questions and 1 short written response


Essay: 35%

Due in class, Nov. 8

Observation notes (point form) and written essay (1000-1250 words) analyzing an original artwork in an art gallery or museum.

Assignment details and guidelines will be posted on Avenue to Learn. It is your responsibility to be familiar with all guidelines and procedures.


Final Exam: 35%

Date and location TBA (during exam period)

2 hour written exam consisting of 2 short written responses and 1 long written response.

Course Evaluation: The final grade for this course will derive from the following pieces of work.


Short Written Assignment: 10%

Due in class, Sept. 20

(500 words plus citation)

Assignment details and guidelines will be posted on Avenue to Learn. It is your responsibility to be familiar with all guidelines and procedures.


Test: 20%

In class, Oct. 10

30 minutes, 15 fill in the blank questions and 1 short written response


Essay: 35%

Due in class, Nov. 8

Observation notes (point form) and written essay (1000-1250 words) analyzing an original artwork in an art gallery or museum.

Assignment details and guidelines will be posted on Avenue to Learn. It is your responsibility to be familiar with all guidelines and procedures.


Final Exam: 35%

Date and location TBA (during exam period)

2 hour written exam consisting of 2 short written responses and 1 long written response.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Course Text: Marilyn Stokstad and Michael Cothren, Art History, Combined Volume (5th Edition), (Prentice Hall, 2011). Text available at Titles, the McMaster University bookstore. An eText-only version of the book is also available — access codes purchased through Titles. This is a digital rental for a limited time.


NOTE: Marilyn Stokstad and Michael Cothren, Art History, Combined Volume (4th Edition) is also acceptable. A separate list of readings will be posted on Avenue to Learn with correct page numbers for the 4th edition


Lecture and Readings Schedule: All readings are taken from Art History (5th Edition)

[Note: for page #s in the 4th edition see Readings 4th Edition posted on Avenue to Learn]


Sept. 5 & 6 – Introduction: What is Art History? Art Historical Method

Use Notes, p.XXI / Starter Kit, pp.XXII-XXV / Introduction, pp.XXVI-XLI / Art and its Contexts: The Power of Naming, p.6 / Art and its Contexts: Art As Spoils of War — Protection or Theft? p.34 / Art and its Contexts: The Myth of “Primitive” Art, p.412 / Art and its Contexts: Craft or Art?, p.857 / Feminism and Art, p.1101 / Globalism: Into the New Millennium, pp.1129


Sept. 12 & 13 – Cave Painting, GreekVases, Mosaic, Fresco

Cave Painting: Prehistoric Art, p. 1 / Cave Painting, pp.8-11 / Recovering the Past: How Early Art is Dated, p. 12 / Greek Vase painting: The Geometric Period, pp.102-105 / The Orientalizing Period, pp. 105 / Painted Pots, pp.117-120 / Technique: Black-Figure and Red Figure, p.118 / Ceramic Painting, pp.126-127 / Mosaic: Ishtar Gate, pp.44-45 / Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli, pp. 197-200 / Technique: Roman Mosaics, p.199 /A Closer Look: The Mosaic Floor of the Beth Alpha Synagogue, p.219 / Synagogues, pp.217-220 / Ravenna & Thessaloniki pp.227-231 / The Oratory of Galla Placidia, p.228-229 / San Vitale in Ravenna, p.238-242 / Technique: Ornament, p.268 / The Dome of the Rock, pp. 269-271 / The Great Mosque of Cordoba, pp. 272-273 / Tile Mosaic Mihrab, p.282 / Fresco: Technique: Buon Fresco, p.539 / The Tomb of the Diver, pp. 124-125 / Wall painting, pp.179-184 / Giotto di Bondone, pp. 538-542 / The Branacci Chapel, pp. 612-613/ Fra Angelico, p.612-613 & image p.XL / Leonardo da Vinci, The Last Supper, pp. 636-640 / Raphael(fresco) p.633 & p.642 / Michelangelo, The Sistine Chapel pp.645-650 & pp.668-670


Sept. 19 & 20 – Stained Glass, Illuminated Manuscripts, Watercolour 

[NOTE: Short Written Assignment due in class on Sept. 20]

Stained glass: Gothic Art of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, p.495 / Technique: Stained-Glass Windows, p.501 / The Birth of Gothic at the Abbey of Sanit-Denis, pp. 498-499 / Chartres, pp. 500-508 / The Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, pp.512-513 / Illuminated Manuscripts: Illustrated Books, pp.435-440 / Early Medieval Art in Europe, p.429 / The Lindisfarne Gospels, pp.436-437 / Illustrated Books, pp.448-450 / Illuminated Manuscripts, pp.514-514/ Gothic Art in England, pp.515-518 / Psalm1 in the Windmill Psalter, p.516 / Manuscript Illumination, pp.568-570 / Art and Its Contexts: Women Artists in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, p.568 / The Arts of the Book (Islam), pp. 284-286 / Fatehpur Sikri, p. 777/ Painting of Jahangir and Shah Abbas, p.778 / Painting in the Court of Jahangir, p.779 / Technique: Indian Painting on Paper, p.782 / Rajput Painting, pp.780-782 / The Aztec Empire, pp. 838-839 / Manuscripts(Aztec), p.842 / Plains Indian Painting, pp.850-851 Water Colour, Ink and Gouache: Technique: Formats of Chinese Painting, p.799 / Literati Painting (China), pp.794-798 / Spring Dawn in the Han Palace, p.801 / The Literati Aesthetic (China), p.802-804 / Poet on a Mountaintop, p.803 / Dong Qichang, pp.804-806 / Wu Guanzhong, p.808 / Literati Painting (Japan), p. 827


Sept. 26 & 27 – Tempera Painting, Oil painting, Drawing

Tempera panel painting: Technique: Cennino Cennini on Panel Painting, p.546 / Florentine Painting [Cimabue (tempera) & Giotto [tempera & fresco)], pp.536-539 / Sienese Painting (tempera panel painting), pp.542-547 Oil painting: Technique: Oil Painting, p.573 / Painting in Flanders, pp.573-585 / The Ghent Altarpiece, pp.578-579 / Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, pp.636-643 / Painting (Baroque), pp.720-730 / Diego Velázquez, pp.732-735 / Portraits (Frans Hals, Judith Leyster), pp.744-746 / Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, pp.746-751 / Nicolas Poussin, p.763-764 / Jacques-Louis David (Oath of the Horatii) p.936 / The Raft of the Medusa, pp.948-949 / The Painter of Modern Life: Manet, pp.976-980 / Impressionism, pp.987-994 /Post-Impressionsim (Seurat, Van Gogh, Gaugin), pp.994-999 / Cézanne, pp.1012-1015 / Drawing: Technique: Pictorial devices for depicting recession in space, p.XXII / Technique: Renaissance Perspective, p.610 / Art and its Contexts: The Vitruvian Man, p.639 / Raphael’s Cartoons for Tapestries in the Sistine Chapel, pp.648-649 / Ingres, p.952/


Oct. 3 & 4 – Sculpture (Carving & Casting)

Stone Carving: Artifacts or Works of Art? (The Lion-Human, Female  Figures), pp.5-7 / Menakure and a Queen, p. 59 / Seated Scribe, p.60 / Nude Torso from Harappa, pp.298/ Technique: Colour in Greek Sculpture, p.113 / Free Standing Sculpture (Archaic), pp.114-117 / The Early Classical Period, Kritios Boy, pp.121-122 / Technique: The Canon of Polykleitos, (High Classical) p.134 / Sculpture (Late Classical), pp.142-145 / Sculpture (Hellenistic), pp.149-155 / Michelangelo’s Early Work, pp.643-645 Casting Metal: Technique: Lost Wax Casting, p.418 / Yoruba, p.409 / Benin, p.416-419 / Man and Centaur (Geometric), p.104-105 / Bronze Sculpture (Early Classical), pp.120-126 / Works in Bronze (Etruscan), pp.164-166 / Statue of Marcus Aurelius (Roman) pp.200-201 / Donatello, pp.606-609 / Auguste Rodin, Camille Claudel, pp.1002-1003 / Bill Reid, pp.858/ Bronze Age China, pp.334-337




Oct. 11 –Relief Sculpture, Monuments,

Relief Sculpture: Assyria, pp. 38-43 /  A Closer Look: Enemies Crossing the Euphrates to Escape Assyrian Archers, p. 42 / Technique: Egyptian Pictorial Relief, p.64 /Artistic Conventions, & Narmer Palette pp.51-53/ A Closer Look, The Palette of Narmer, p.52 / Parthenon (The Pediments, The Doric Frieze, the Processional Frieze), pp.129-133 / Vishnu Temple, Deogarh, pp.309-310 / Kandariya Mahadeva Temple, Khajuraho, pp.318-320/ Monuments: Stonehenge, pp.17-20 / Nazca, pp.399-400 / Monumental Moai on Rapa Nui, pp.874-875 / The Temples of Ramses II at Abu Simbel, p.74 / The Bamiyan Buddhas, p. 312 / Ara Pacis, pp.174-175 / The Arch of Titus, pp.185-186 / The Column of Trajan / pp.192-193 / Arch of Constantine, pp.207-209/ Arc de Triomphe, p.951 / Gateway of India, Mumbai,  pp.783-784 / Socialist Realism, pp.1051-1052 / Vietnam Veterans Memorial (Maya Lin), pp.1115-1116


Oct. 17  - Wood, Alternative Materials, Textiles,

Wood: Kongo Kingdom (Zoomorphic Head), pp.425-426 / The Gero Crucifix, p.454 / Seated Guyanyin Bodhisattva, p.350 / A Portrait Sculpture, p.377-378 / Technique: Joined-Block Wood Sculpture, p.372 / Byodoin, p.373 / Vesperbild, pp.557-558 / Sculpture (Tilman Riemenschneider), pp.681-682 / The Northwest Coast, pp.851-852 / Hamatasa Masks, p.854 / Collage & Assemblage: Synthetic Cubism, pp.1025-1026 / Vladimir Tatlin, p.1035 / Berlin Dada, p.1039-1040 / Richard Hamilton, pp.1091-1092 / Assemblage, pp.1084-1087, image p.1082 / Alternative Materials: Marcel Duchamp, pp.1037-1039 / Meret Oppenheim, pp.1058-1059 / Minimalism (Donald Judd, Robert Morris), p.1095-1096 / Eva Hesse, p.1098-1099 / Robert Smithson, pp.1102-1103 / Textiles: Technique: Carpet Making, p.292 / Garden Carpet, p.291 / The Bayeux Embroidery, pp.488-489 / Textiles (Flemish), pp.570-572 / Julia Jumbo, p.837 / Wampum, Quillwork, Beadwork, pp.847-850 / Textiles (Chilkat Blanket), pp. 852-853 / Kente Cloth, pp.892-893 / El Anatsui, pp.901-902 /Anni Albers, p.1055-1057 / Miriam Shapiro, p.1101-1102 / Yinka Shonibare, pp.1134-1135 /


(Oct. 18 - NO CLASS)


Oct. 24 & 25 Printmaking: Intaglio, Woodblock, Lithography, Silkscreen, Photography,

Intaglio (Engraving, Etching, Drypoint, Aquatint, Mezzotint) & Woodblock: Cylinder Seals, pp.34-35 / The Graphic Arts, pp.591-593 / Technique: Woodcuts and Engravings on Metal p.592 / Antonio del Pollaiuolo, The Battle of the Nudes, pp.624 / Albrecht Dürer, pp.685-687 / Technique: Etching and Drypoint, p.748 / Rembrandt’s use of etching and drypoint, pp.748-749 / William Blake, pp.930-931 / Portraiture and Protest in Spain: Goya, pp.940-943 / Käthe Kollwitz, p.1028 / Technique: Japanese Woodblock Prints, p.828 /Ukiyo-E: Pictures of the Floating World, pp.828-830 / Modern Artists and World Cultures, pp.996-997 Lithography: Honoré Daumier, pp.953-954 / Technique: Lithography, p.954 / Toulouse-Lautrec, pp.1006-1007 / The Guerrilla Girls, p.110 / Silkscreen: Andy Warhol, pp.1092-1093 Photography: Early Photography in Europe and the United States, pp.968-971 / Technique: The Photographic Process, p.971 / Stieglitz and the “291” Gallery, pp.1040-1041 / photography (Robert Frank, Seydou Keïta), pp.1090-1091 / Postmodernism and Gender (Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger), pp.1109-1111 / Lorna Simpson, p.1112 / Shirin  Neshat, p.1124 / Digital Photography Since 2000 (Jeff Wall), pp.1130-1131


(NO CLASSES Oct. 31 and Nov. 1)


Nov. 7 & 8 –Architecture: Post & Lintel, Egypt, Greece, Architecture: Estruscans, Romans Early Christian & Byzantine, Islam

[NOTE: Essay due in class on Nov.8]

Architecture: / Elements of Architecture: Early Construction Methods, p. 19 / Stonehenge, pp.18-20 / Egypt: Elements of Architecture: Mastaba to Pyramid, p.55 /The Great Pyramids at Giza, pp.56-58 / Greece: Elements of Architecture: The Greek Orders, p.110 / The Archaic Period, pp.105-114 / The High Classical Period, pp.127-138 / The Hellenistic Period, pp.147-149/ Art and Its Contexts: Greek Theatres, p.148 / Etruscans: The Etruscans, pp.158-164 Rome: Elements of Architecture: Roman Architectural Orders, p.161 / Elements of Architecture: The Roman Arch, p.170 / Roman Temples, pp.171/ Roman Cities and the Roman Home, pp.178-179/ Elements of Architecture: Roman Vaulting, p.187 / The Flavian Ampitheatre, p.186-188 / Imperial Architecture, pp.190-192 / The Pantheon, pp.194-197 / Elements of Architecture: Concrete, p.194 / Early Christian: Imperial Christian Architecture and Art, pp.223-226 / Elements of Architecture: Longitudinal-Plan and Central-Plan Churches, p.225 / The Oratory of Galla Placidia, pp.228-229 / Byzantine: Hagia Sophia, pp.235-237 / Elements of Architecture: Pendentives and Squinches, p.238 / San Vitale in Ravenna, p.238-242 Islam: pp.266-274 / Technique: Ornament, p.268 / The Great Mosque of Cordoba, pp.272-273 / Elements of Architecture: Arches, p.274


Nov. 14 & 15 –Romanesque, Gothic, St. Peter’s Basilica

Romanesque: pp.459-485 / Art and Its Contexts: The Pilgrim’s Journey, p. 464 / Art and Its Contexts: Relics and Reliquaries, p. 467 / A Closer Look: The Last Judgment Tympanum at Autun, p.483 Gothic Art of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries: pp.494 -514 / Elements of Architecture: Rib Vaulting, p.499 / Elements of Architecture: The Gothic Church, p.503 / Italian Renaissance: Architecture, pp.596-602 /Art and its Contexts: St. Peter’s Basilica, p.653 / Michelangelo & St. Peter’s Basilica, pp.668-671 / Baroque: St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican (Bernini), pp.714-717 / Borromini’s Church of San Carlo, pp.719-720


Nov. 21 & 22 – Classicism in Western Art

Renaissance Perspective: Humanism and the Italian Renaissance, p.596 / Technique: Renaissance Perspective, p.610 / Masaccio, pp.609-613 / 16th Century Italy, pp.633-650 / A Closer Look: The School of Athens, p.642 / Titian, pp. 658-661/ Mannerism, pp. 661-666 / Baroque, p. 714 / Classicism & Naturalism: Painting (The Carracci, Caravaggio, Gentileschi), pp.720-730 / Rubens, pp.736-741/ The Classical Landscape: Poussin and Claude Lorrain, pp.763-765 / Art and its Contexts: Grading the Old Masters, p.763 / 18th & Early 19th, pp. 905-907, Rococo, pp.907-912 /  Neoclassicism: Italy: The Grand Tour and Neoclassicism, p.913 / Neoclassicism in Rome: pp. 915-917 / Neoclassicism and Early Romanticism in Britain, p.917-918 / Art and its Contexts: Academies and Academy Exhibitions, p.926 / History Painting, pp.926-929 / Romanticism: Romantic Painting, pp.929-932 / Jacques-Louis David, Anne-Louise Girodet-Trioson, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, pp.936-939 / Early Nineteenth Century Art: Neoclassicism and Romanticism, pp.945-958


Nov. 28 & 29 - Early Modernism & Exam Review

Realism and the Avant-Garde: pp.972-979 / Art and It’s Contexts: The Mass Dissemination of Art, p.978 / Whistler, pp.986-987 / Impressionism, pp.987-994 / Late Nineteenth-Century Art, pp.994-1003 / Cézanne, pp.1012-1013 /Art and its Contexts: The Myth of “Primitive” Art, p.412/

/Art and its Contexts: Controversies Over Public Funding for the Arts, p.1118/


FINAL EXAM – date and location TBA via McMaster timetable




Optional Recommended Readings from Art History (5th Edition)

Art and its Contexts: Greek and Roman Deities, p.104

Art and its Contexts: The Life of Jesus, p.230

Art and its Contexts: The Five Pillars of Islam, p.271

Art and its Contexts: Buddhism, p.301

Art and its Contexts: Hinduism, p.309

Art and its Contexts: Daoism, p.338

Art and its Contexts: Confucius and Confucianism, p.342

Art and its Contexts: Foundations of Indian Culture, p.774

Art and its Contexts: Foundations of Chinese Culture, p.795

Art and its Contexts: Foundations of Japanese Culture, p.819

Art and its Contexts: Foundations of African Cultures, p.885