AH 201 Syllabus

Renaissance to Modern Art

Whistler, Nocturne in Black and Gold


Spring 2018
Tuesday and Thursday 11 to 12:15 PM
Instructor: Denise Johnson
Phone: 714.289.3569
Moulton Center 217 A

Office Hours by appointment
2 to 2:30 PM
2:30 to 3:30 PM
10 to 11 AM & 1 to 2:30 PM
10 AM to 11 AM



click here for a printable syllabus



Course Description

AH 201 - Renaissance to Modern Art is an introduction to the development of the visual arts in Europe, Britain, and America from the Renaissance to the 20th century.

In this course, we will consider the western canon as established in Italy during a period of significant cultural shift, follow its influence, then trace multiple challenges to this academic order as the modern world emerges. We will cover more than 500 years of social, cultural, political, and material history in Europe and the United States, while building an understanding of the very study of art history - its methods, purposes, restrictions, and what the discipline can tell us about our world today, and tomorrow.

During our investigations, a conversational approach will be prioritized during class discussions. Students will be encouraged through assignments and readings to bring a critical eye that is actively engaged in questioning through a shared learning experience. Think of the classroom as your lab, the textbook as your guide, and writing assignments as an adventurous expression of what you’ve learned, and what that means to your sense of humanity!

Objectives & Outcomes
Course Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the course will:
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the contributions of women artists to the western art tradition;
Demonstrate an understanding of the historical context of women's contributions to art including the arguments against women's participation and the obstacles faced by women in overcoming traditional barriers;
Develop understanding of the ways that the intersecting dynamics of race, ethnicity, class, and gender produce dissimilar experiences for individuals and groups;
Describe, discuss, and interpret the formal/stylistic/material qualities of works of art produced by women artists from the prehistoric period to the present day utilizing appropriate art historical methodologies; and
Synthesize strategies in critical theory to write analyses of artworks made by women.
Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the course will:


Develop the writing competencies used in the discipline of art history;


Locate works of art and visual culture within the context of world art history and articulate the relationship between intended meaning/function and audience response in specific cultural and historical contexts;


Conduct advanced art historical research using the full range of scholarly resources; and


Recognize the theoretical concerns of art history and its allied disciplines, and discuss and apply specific theoretical perspectives to a given art historical context and to their own research projects.

General Education Learning Outcomes
7AI Artistic Inquiry: students compose critical or creative works that embody or analyze conceptually an artistic form at a baccalaureate/pre-professional level.
7SI Social Inquiry: employs theories of how people frame and analyze social and/or historical phenomena.



Instructional Strategies
Students will work toward course objectives through: lecture presentations; student reports on readings, active participation in class discussions; in class partner exercises; reading assignments; writing assignments; exams; viewing images, videos, and audio representations of the art of the ancient Americas; and participating in off-campus field trips that will require commutes, and may entail a parking fee, and/or entrance fee.


Instructional Websites

This class will be taught from the instructional website The Slide Projector at, www.theslideprojector.com. Lecture presentations, assignments, and other course materials will be available for you at this site and you will need to access it regularly.

Additional essays will be posted to the AH 201 Assignments page at www.theslideprojector.com and exams will be taken outside of class on Blackboard at blackboard.chapman.edu.

Required Textbook

Kleiner, Fred S. and Christin J. Mamiya. Gardner’s Art through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Volume II, choice of 14th or 15th editions. Boston, Massachusetts: Thomson Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-1305645059

Recommended Text
Barnet, Sylvan. A Short Guide to Writing About Art. (Any edition, 10th or 11th preferred.) Boston: Pearson Education Inc.. ISBN 978-0205708253



Major Study Units
This semester, our conversations, assignments, and writing will involve the following subjects:
• Context of the Renaissance

• Rococo

• Medieval faith and innovation

• French & American Revolutions

• Ancient discoveries

• Neoclassicism

• Humanism and rebirth

• Romanticism

• Early Renaissance

• Realism

• Northern Europe

• Photography

• Italy

• Industrial Revolution

• Making “Art” during the Renaissance

• Emerging middle class

• Patronage & artist guilds

• Impressionism

• Materials & tools

• Post Impressionism
• Quattrocento Italy

• Symbolism

• High Renaissance

• Modernism

• Mannerism

• Expressionism

• Cinquecento Italy

• Fauvism

• Northern Europe & Spain

• Futurism

• Baroque

• Cubism

• Italy & Spain


• Northern Europe



Methods of Evaluation

Students will be evaluated on the presentation of evidence that they have achieved the course objectives; frequency and quality of their contributions to in-class discussion; on their ability to make oral and written critical observations about the works of art, artists, movements, and concepts presented in the course; on the quality of the writing they present in written assignments; and on their ability to demonstrate growth in their understanding and application of the history and methodologies for studying Renaissance to Modern art.

There are 500 points possible, which will be earned through the following graded components:

Class Participation - 15%

Students will earn up to 75 participation points through the following activities:

  • Actively and consistently contributing to in-class discussions and applying theoretical ideas to works to earn up to 25 participation points;
  • Report on at least five assigned readings through a post on the class blog that outlines three main points or “take aways” from the reading. Your challenge is to avoid repeating the comments made in previous posts. Each post may earn up to 5 participation points; and
  • Attending one lecture in the Visual Thinker Lecture Series, the Art History Symposium, or the Bensussen Lecture, and submitting a VTLS Report on Blackboard within two weeks of the event may earn up to 25 participation points. Please be reminded that Art, Graphic Design and Art History majors and minors are required to attend all VTLS.

Writing Assignments - 50%

Students may earn up to 50 points by completing four of the following assignments:

  • Iconographic analysis through an infographic
  • Collaborative analysis
  • Analysis of a work using a given art historical methodology
  • Analysis of work on view at a relevant art venue
  • Architectural analysis through essay, infographic, or model
  • Timeline considering key historical events and characteristic works

Exams - 35%

Students will take two exams worth 60 points each on the course Blackboard page at https://blackboard.chapman.edu. Due to the nature of online testing, and the multi-day duration offered to submit, exams may not be made up. Please use the class schedule to plan accordingly.

A final examination in the form of a Socratic Circle worth 55 points and will be conducted in class during our scheduled final exam period.


Extra Credit

Students are limited to earning 25 points in extra credit during the semester. Any points earned above this cap will NOT be applied to the final grade.


*Twenty-Five points of extra credit may be earned by creating a dictionary of at least 50 new terms encountered during the semester.



Points will be earned on writing assignments through committed consideration of the material, demonstration of learned concepts and language, and evidence of critical thinking. In addition to the individual requirements, each writing assignment will earn points based on rigorous analysis through the skilled application of the art historical methodologies, as well as pointed and thoughtful responses to the questions proposed.
100 to 97%
500 - 483 points

Writing demonstrates excellence in both articulation and critical thinking. Art historical methodologies are used thoughtfully and with skill. Questions are answered thoroughly, and discussion is carried beyond prompt with sophistication. Credible scholarly sources are employed to support the author's position, and Chicago Manual of Style citation rules are carefully followed. The written assignment leaves little to no room for improvement, and demonstrates committed interest in the discipline.

A -
96 to 90%
482 - 448 points
B +
89 to 87%
447 - 433 points

Writing demonstrates clear focus and an above average consideration of the subject matter. While all questions have been answered, there is room for improvement by carrying the analysis and discussion beyond a basic response to the essay prompt. Writing exhibits potential for excellence however, a clearer application and understanding of the art historical methodologies is needed. Author has met the requirements for research and citations with few errors. Thesis could be served by additional research.

86 to 84%
432 - 418 points
B -
83 to 80%
417 - 398 points
C +
79 to 77%
397 - 383 points

Most of the material is understood, but the focus is not entirely clear, and analysis is cursory. Question responses could be more fully realized, and the material, more thoroughly examined. Distracting citation issues are present, little research was executed in support of thesis, and/or sources are not credible or academic. There are issues with language that make the writing somewhat difficult to understand.

76 to 74%
382 - 368 points
C -
73 to 70%
367 - 348 points
D +
69 to 67%
347 - 333 points

Writing demonstrates little understanding or connection with the material and is flawed in content and form. Question responses do not provide evidence of critical thinking. Major citation issues are present, no research was executed in support of thesis, and/or sources are not credible or academic. Issues with language make the writing very difficult to understand.

66 - 64%
332 - 318 points
D -
63 - 60%
317 - 298 points
< 59%
297 - 0

Work fails to meet any requirements satisfactorily.



Assignment is incomplete but shows potential. Student is offered one additional class day to revise, add to, and re-submit the assignment.



Instructor Policies
Commitment to the Conversation

Conversation and debate will be central to the learning experience this semester. Art historians do not work in secluded spaces that are entirely disconnected from the world around them. Given the importance of engagement, students will be expected to fully commit to in-class dialogues and will agree to refrain from sleeping, texting, emailing, and completing out-of-class or other class assignments during Art 464 class meetings. Distracted students may be asked to leave class until their full attention can be directed to our course.

Respect is Key
We may consider provocative, challenging, even vulgar subject matter in this class. It is assumed that each of us undertakes this learning endeavor with honorable intent and a commitment to understanding diverse perspectives and histories. When this is difficult for us, we agree to keep an open mind and to respect all views and identities, even those with which we do not personally agree. While engaging in class activities, we agree to refrain from using derogatory, inflammatory, or otherwise disrespectful language. We do so, fully committed to the principles of academic freedom outlined in the 2016 Chapman University Faculty Manual, holding “that the widest possible scope for freedom of expression is the foundation of an institution dedicated to vigorous inquiry, robust debate, and the continuous search for a proper balance between freedom and order,” “that censorship is always suspect, that intimidation is always repugnant, and that attempts to discourage constitutionally protected expression are antithetical to the central focus of the university's mission: education and discovery of new knowledge,” and that these principles are “accompanied by a corresponding principle of responsibility.”

Regular attendance is mandatory. You are permitted two unexcused absence without damage to your grade. More than two missed classes will potentially lower your grade, and missing four or more classes will put you at risk of failing the class.

Please also be punctual! Students arriving 15 or more minutes after class begins should expect to be marked absent for the entire class.

Letting the instructor know that you will be absent by email is always appreciated! Please understand, due to the large number of emails received, the instructor may not be able to reply. The instructor will maintain a simple record of attendance that will not distinguish between excused and unexcused absences. If you are not present, you are not able to participate. The circumstances that prevented you from being able to attend class do not change this.


Please submit all coursework on Blackboard before class begins, on the day the assignment is due, whether you will be absent or in attendance. If you encounter a problem submitting on Blackboard, please notify the instructor via email as soon as possible and attach the completed assignment.

Late Assignments
You may submit one assignment, one class day late. The late assignment will not be marked down, however any assignments turned in more than one class late, or in addition to the one accepted assignment, will only receive credit at the discretion of the instructor.



Chapman University Policies
Academic Integrity Policy
Chapman University is a community of scholars which emphasizes the mutual responsibility of all members to seek knowledge honestly and in good faith. Students are responsible for doing their own work, and for submitting coursework completed this semester, for this class. Academic dishonesty of any kind will not be tolerated anywhere in the university. Academic dishonesty of any kind will be subject to sanction by the instructor/administrator and referral to the university's Academic Integrity Committee, which may impose additional sanctions up to and including expulsion. Please see the full description of Chapman University's policy on Academic Integrity at www.chapman.edu/academics/academic-integrity/index.aspx
Students with Disabilities
In compliance with ADA guidelines, students who have any condition, either permanent or temporary, that might affect their ability to perform in this class are encouraged to inform the instructor at the beginning of the term. Upon recommendation of the Center for Academic Success, adaptations of teaching methods, class materials, including text and reading materials or testing may be made as needed to provide for equitable participation.
Equity and Diversity Policy

Chapman University is committed to ensuring equality and valuing diversity. Students and professors are reminded to show respect at all times as outlined in Chapman’s Harassment and Discrimination Policy: at www.chapman.edu/faculty-staff/human-resources/eoo.aspx. Any violations of this policy should be discussed with the professor, the Dean of Students and/or otherwise reported in accordance with this policy.



Writing Center
All Chapman students are welcome to meet with Writing Center tutors, who can help you with any part of the writing process, from understanding the assignment and finding a significant topic to editing your final drafts. The Writing Center is located in DeMille Hall 130. To guarantee time with a tutor, call (714) 997-6828 or email tutor@chapman.edu to schedule an appointment.
Food Pantry
Students in need of access to the food pantry should contact Sherri Maeda-Akau in the Office of Residence Life and First Year Experience at maeda@chapman.edu.
Sexual Assault

If you have been sexually assaulted, make sure you are in safe place. Call 911 in an emergency, Chapman University Public Safety at (714)997-6721 and, Chapman University ’s Sexual Assault Information Line at (714) 744-7000. Contact Orange PD at (714) 744-7444.

Student Psychological Counseling
If you are in need of help or support immediately you can contact:
CU Student Psychological Counseling - (714) 997-6778
Suicide Prevention Hotline - (800) 273-8255
Drug and Alcohol Abuse Hotline - (800) 662-HELP
National AIDS/STD Info Hotline - (800) 458-5231



Class Schedule and Required Reading
This is a tentative schedule that may change. Assignment directions and due dates will be posted on The Slide Projector. Updates will be announced in class, on lecture presentations, and modified on the Syllabus page of The Slide Projector.
Discussion Topic
Assignment & Reading Due
14th edition
15th edition
January 30
February 1
Setting the Scene
February 6

Early Renaissance in Italy

Chapter 14
February 8
Early Renaissance in Florence

February 13
Early Renaissance in Northern Europe
Chapter 21
Chapter 15
February 15
Deconstructing Symbols
February 20
Renaissance Innovation
Chapter 22
Chapter 16
February 22
High Renaissance in Italy
February 27
Writing Art History
Infographic Due
March 1
Mannerism in Cinquocento Italy
Chapter 23
Chapter 17
March 6
Venetian Exuberance
Exam 1 Due
March 8
High Renaissance in Northern Europe
Chapter 24
Chpater 18
March 13
Baroque Italy
Chapter 25
Chapter 19
March 15
New Realism
Visual Analysis 1 Due
March 20
Spring Break
March 22
March 27
Northern Baroque
Chapter 26
Chapter 20
March 29
French Academy
April 3
France v. Flanders
April 5
Chapter 27
Chapter 21
April 10
Exam 2 Due
April 12
April 17
Chapter 28
Chapter 22
April 19
Realism & Other Assaults
April 24
The Modern World
April 26
The Avant-Garde
Architectural Analysis or Timeline Due
May 1
Chapter 23
May 3
Pages 761 - 766
May 8
Chapter 29
Pages 766 - 776
May 10
Visual Analysis 2 Due
May 15
Socratic Circle Final Exam 1:30 to 4 PM



Important Dates
Late Registration
The last day to add this courses is Friday, February 9.
Drop Deadline
Students wishing to drop the course without record must do so by Friday, February 9. The last day to withdraw from a course, or change grading option to P/NP is Friday, April 13.
Final Exam
The in-class final for this course is mandatory, and will not be offered at an alternative date, except under extenuating circumstances. The instructor understands that the end of the academic year and travel come with much urgency and pressure. Nonetheless, the hours set aside for the final exam are a part of your earned credit and as such, are an important component of your grade.
Grades will be available no later than Monday, May 28.



Raphael, School of Athens, c. 1510 - 1511.