Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2020
Units: 4.5
Hours: 4 lecture, 1.5 laboratory per week (66 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ART 2A.
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

  • A successful student will be able to demonstrate, in written form, a thorough understanding of Classical Athenian art within the context of the complex social and political milieu of the fifth century BC.
  • A successful student will be able to explain the possible meaning(s) of Paleolithic cave paintings taking into account the latest published literature on ritual and trance.


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, Early Christian and Early Byzantine culture. Illustrated lectures and readings. The honors sections expand the primary sources for the student. In addition to the textbook, students have a reading list of sources (on reserve in the library). Lectures are more interactive and the student is expected to participate in group discussions. Exams are more exacting with an emphasis on the student being able to comfortably assimilate political, social, and economic factors into their analysis.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Recognize a broad spectrum of art and culture through a knowledge of the development of the visual arts and material culture.
B. Explain how social, political, and religious ideas affect art.
C. Recognize and interpret ideas, principles, and techniques that have influenced artistic expression.
D. Identify the style, content, and approximate dates of art works ranging from prehistoric times to approximately 600 CE.
E. Demonstrate, in written form, a thorough understanding of Classical Athenian art within the context of the complex social and political milieu of the fifth century BC.
F. Explain the possible meaning(s) of Paleolithic cave paintings taking into account the latest published literature on ritual and trance.
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
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 (Lab)
a. Architecture
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 manuscripts
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 digital 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 (all exams have slide ID, short answer, and essay questions)
B. Final examination
C. A research paper
D. Seminar (small group)
E. Moderated online discussions

All assessment for the honors course involves a greater emphasis on accessing and discussing primary source material. The research paper is also more exacting; students must provide a more extensive bibliography than for the regular series (ART 2A, 2B, 2C) and the list of acceptable subjects is expanded. In addition, lectures and discussions move beyond the material covered by the text with the students required to read reserved texts in the library to broaden their grasp of the subject matter.

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 and reserved texts every week.

C. 9-10 page paper prepared using the MLA format and researched using primary and secondary sources only.

D. Written essay responses on all three exams.

E. Short answer responses on all three exams.