Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2023
Units: 4.5
Hours: 4 lecture, 1.5 laboratory per week (66 total per quarter)
Advisory: Not open to students with credit in ART 2B.
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 analyze and describe specific works of art with reference to their social, political, and theological context.
  • A successful student will be able to Assess, in written form, the impact of the Germanic and Celtic culture on the formulation of a new western Christian art in the early middle ages.


History of Western art from ca. 600 through ca. 1600. This course examines the Middle Ages and the Renaissance using images, objects, and architecture to develop a comprehensive understanding of the social, political, and religious forces that shaped this period. 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:

  1. Recognize a broad spectrum of art and culture through a knowledge of the development of the visual arts and material culture
  2. Interpret cross-cultural and changing religious beliefs (including breaks between the Catholics and the Protestants) and how they influenced artistic production
  3. Analyze political ideologies arising during this period and consider their impact on recurring motifs in the visual arts
  4. Identify the style, content, and approximate dates of a broad range of art works ranging from ca. 600 to ca. 1600
  5. Analyze and describe specific works of art with reference to their social, political, and theological context
  6. Assess, in written form, the impact of the Germanic and Celtic culture on the formulation of a new Western Christian art in the early Middle Ages.
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the control of artistic production and political and social influence
  8. Explain in written form the relationship between commerce, nascent capitalism, a growing mercantile class, and artistic production in the 15th and 16th centuries in Italy
  9. Describe and evaluate the impact of Greco/Roman philosophy and science on the development of European society in the 11th and 12th centuries in specific relation to Scholasticism and the development of the Gothic style in art
  10. Appraise the impact of Islamic science and thought on the development of European culture in the Middle Ages

Course Content

  1. Early Medieval Art in Europe
    1. Migration Period
      1. Animal Style
      2. Germanic art
      3. Viking art
      4. Hiberno Saxon art
    2. Carolingian Period
      1. Painting and illumination
      2. Crafts
      3. Architecture
    3. Ottonian Period
      1. Architecture
      2. Sculpture
      3. Painting and illumination
  2. Romanesque Art
    1. Architecture: Languedoc-Burgundy, Germany-Lombardy, Normandy-England, Tuscany, Aquitaine
    2. Sculpture
    3. Painting and illumination
  3. Gothic Art
    1. Early Gothic
      1. Architecture
      2. Sculpture
    2. High Gothic
      1. Architecture
        1. Rayonnant style
      2. Sculpture
      3. Stained glass and illumination
    3. Late Gothic
    4. Non-French Gothic
      1. England
      2. Germany
      3. Italy
  4. The Proto-Renaissance in Italy
    1. Sculpture
    2. Painting - maniera greca, Duccio, Giotto
      1. International style - Simone Martini
  5. Early Renaissance Art in Europe
    1. First half of the 15th c.
      1. Sculpture
      2. Architecture
      3. Painting
    2. Second half of the 15th c.
      1. Architecture
      2. Sculpture
      3. Painting and engraving
  6. Renaissance Art in 16th century Italy
    1. High Renaissance
      1. Leonardo da Vinci
      2. Bramante and his circle
      3. Raphael
      4. Michelangelo
        1. Later works
    2. Mannerism
      1. Painting
      2. Sculpture and architecture
    3. Venetian Renaissance
      1. Architecture
      2. Painting
  7. Renaissance Art outside of Italy
    1. 15th century
      1. Flanders
        1. Sculpture
        2. Painting and manuscript illumination
      2. France and Germany
        1. Painting
    2. 16th century
      1. Germany
        1. Painting and printmaking
      2. The Netherlands
        1. Painting
      3. France
        1. Painting
        2. Architecture
      4. Spain
        1. Architecture
        2. Painting - El Greco

Lab Content

Lab activities are provided for students to practice visual literacy and critical thinking skills through the synthesis of content from lecture, posted videos, and assigned reading through written responses to weekly prompts related to specific works of art and architecture. Students practice visual literacy skills through observation, description, analysis, and interpretation within the artwork's specific historical and cultural context using the language of visual analysis (formal elements and principles of design), technique, and genre. When appropriate students practice the application of theoretical frameworks (biography, Marxism, Feminism, Psychoanalysis, Modernism, Postmodernism, Post-colonialism, Structuralism, etc.) regarding each topic area.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

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

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Two midterms (all exams have slide ID, short answer, and essay questions)
Final examination
A research paper
Research activity assignments based on library research modules
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

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

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, 16th ed.. 2021.

Kleiner, Fred S.. Gardner's Art through the Ages: A Global History, 16th ed.. 2020.

Stokstad, Marilyn, and Michael Cothren. Art History Vol. I & II, 6th ed.. 2018.

Students may use older editions of the textbooks. Some or all of the textbooks are available as e-books (rental or purchase) and are also on reserve in the Foothill College library for student use.

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

  1. Approximately one chapter of text (30-60 pages) per week
  2. Primary/secondary source reading from handouts
  3. 9-10 page paper prepared using the MLA format and researched using primary and secondary sources only
  4. Written essay responses on all three exams
  5. Short answer responses on all three exams


Art History