Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 4.5
Hours: 4 lecture, 1.5 laboratory per week (66 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ART 2AH.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area I: Humanities
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • The student will be able to identify and name art from the broad variety of cultures
  • A successful student will be able to analyze the impact of the environment and social norms on the production of art and formulate specific conclusions based on this interplay of nature and culture.


History of Western art from Prehistory through Early Christianity. An introductory survey examining images, objects, and architecture produced from the Paleolithic era to the end of the Roman Empire. We will discuss Prehistoric, Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and Early Christian and Byzantine culture. Illustrated lectures and readings.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Classify a broad variety of art and cultures through a knowledge of the development of visual arts and material culture.
B. Explain how social, political, and religious traditions affect art.
C. Recognize and interpret ideas, principles, and techniques that have influenced artistic expression.
D. Identify and name the style, content, and approximate dates of art works ranging from prehistoric times to approximately 600 CE.
E. Identify and name the broad variety of cultures/civilizations covered by the course based on a comprehensive knowledge of style, function, and meaning.
F. Analyze the impact of the environment and social norms on the production of art and formulate specific conclusions based on this interplay of nature and culture.
G. Discuss and explain the various religious traditions examined in the class.
H. Assess and explain the iconography of different cultures based on a thorough knowledge of different symbols/forms.
I. Demonstrate the influence of pagan art and religious belief on the development of Christian art and theology.

Course Content

The following content is delivered via lecture (Lec) in the scheduled class sessions unless otherwise stated.
A. Prehistory and Prehistoric Art in Europe
1. Upper Paleolithic
a. Cave painting and sculpture (Lab)
2. Mesolithic
a. Rock-shelter paintings
3. Neolithic
a. Megalithic monuments
B. Art of the Ancient Near East
1. The beginnings: Catal Huyuk & Jericho
2. Sumer (Lab)
a. Architecture & sculpture
3. Akkad
a. Sculpture
4. Babylonia
a. Sculpture & architecture
5. Assyria
a. Architecture & relief sculpture
6. Neo-Babylonia
7. Ancient Iran: Elam & Achaemenid Persia
C. Art of Ancient Egypt
1. Early Dynastic period & Old Kingdom
a. Architecture, sculpture & painted relief
2. Middle Kingdom
a. Rock-cut tombs, painting & sculpture
3. New Kingdom
a. Architecture, sculpture & painting
b. Akhenaton & the Armarna Period
c. Tutankamen & the Late Period
D. Aegean Art
1. Early Minoan Period
a. Cycladic sculpture
2. Middle Minoan Period
a. Vase painting - Crete
3. Late Minoan Period
a. Architecture & painting - Knossos, Santorini
b. Pottery & sculpture
4. Mycenaean
a. Architecture & sculpture
E. Art of Ancient Greece
1. Geometric Period
a. Vase painting & sculpture
2. Archaic Period
a. Vase painting: black & red figure techniques
b. Sculpture: kouros & kore
c. Architecture
3. Early Classical (Transitional) Period
a. Severe style
4. High (Mature) Classical Period
a. Architecture (Lab)
b. Sculpture & painting
5. Late Classical Period
a. Sculpture & architecture
6. Hellenistic Period
a. Sculpture & architecture
b. Mosaics
F. Etruscan and Roman Art
1. Etruscans
a. Architecture & painting
b. Sculpture
2. Romans
a. Republican Period
1) Portrait sculpture & architecture
2) Painting & mosaic
b. Early Empire
1) Architecture & public works (Lab)
2) Sculpture & monumental relief
c. Late Empire
1) Architecture
2) Sculpture & monumental architecture
G. Early Christian, Jewish, and Byzantine Art
1. Early Christian (Lab)
a. Catacombs
b. Architecture
c. Mosaic & painting
1) Illuminated manuscript
d. Sculpture & crafts
2. Byzantine
a. Ravenna & Mt. Sinai
b. Constantinople
3. Later Byzantine
a. Architecture
b. Painting & sculpture

Lab Content

The lab consists of eight weekly instructor-proctored discussion sessions held via Etudes online. In addition, each student will attend a library orientation/term paper introduction in the library with the instructor (there are 7-8 sessions scheduled each quarter). Finally, every student will prepare and present a seminar. The seminar sessions require the students to present their material to the instructor outside of class time. All lab activity attendance (discussions/library orientation/seminar) is recorded and graded.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Slide collection and projection equipment adequate for lectures on the subject.
B. Access to the Artstor online image archive. Classroom must be internet connected and provided with digital projector, DVD player, and VHS Player.
C. When taught via Foothill Global Access, ongoing access to a computer with email address, software and hardware, and internet.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Two midterms
B. Final examination (midterms and final include slide identification, short answer and essay questions)
C. A research paper
D. Seminar
E. Weekly moderated online discussions

Method(s) of Instruction

Lecture, discussion, cooperative learning exercises, oral presentations, electronic discussions/chat, independent study, field trips.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Kleiner, Mamiya, and Tansey. Gardner's History of Art. Vol. I & II. 15th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 2016.

Text is also available online at or

Students can also order the required text by the chapter at

Stokstad, Marilyn, and Michael Cothren. Art History Vol. I & II. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River: 2014.

Text is also available online at

Students can also order the required text per volume at


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Approximately one chapter of text (30 - 60 pages) per week

B. Primary/secondary source reading from handouts

C. 7-8 page paper prepared using the MLA format and researched using primary and secondary sources only

D. Weekly journal responses to the questions based on their lab films

E. Written essay responses on all three exams

F. Short answer responses on all three exams