History of Art
What is it about at sixth-form level?
Consider the image on the previous page. What do you see? Who are these men? What are they doing? What are these objects? What do they reveal to us about their personalities? What has the image to dowith politics, religion, science and music? All of these questions and more are of interest to us, as well as how it was made and what it tells us about identity and ideas at the time. As we investigate further we will address issues concerning contemporary politics, religious issues and even why the work is in the format of a marriage portrait. Works of art are layered and structured things like poems and stories. By studying History of Art A level, you will ask questions of visual works, explore the evidence and learn how to decode them. You will decipher the images, including the differing styles, techniques, materials and processes that have gone into their construction. Alongside this analytical approach, you will evaluate works of art from new perspectives, such as considering gender, global and ethnicity issues or the social context in which the works existed. History of Art is a wide-ranging subject that raises many questions as it is a point of intersection between many subjects including History, Languages, Sociology, Psychology and Philosophy.
Works of art are layered and structured things like poems and stories, built of out of symbols whose significance is not always obvious. By studying History of Art A level, you will learn how to decode them. You will look at their differing styles and the particular techniques, materials and processes that have gone into their construction. Alongside this traditional approach, you will also learn about new perspectives from which to evaluate works of art, such as considering the social context in which they existed and the gender and ethnicity of the people that created them. History of Art is a wide-ranging subject that raises many questions as it is a point of intersection between many subjects including History, Languages, Sociology, Psychology and Philosophy.
Why study it and what skills does it develop?
History of Art develops analytical and research skills, equipping students with the ability to write, developing and presenting an argument. These academic skills and an understanding of our global visual culture are of great benefit to many careers including Film, media, museums, publishing, advertising, art and architecture. In a world that increasingly uses visual ways to communicate History of Art develops skills of analysis, writing and interpretation that you can use throughout life as well as being vital to a wide range of subjects at university.
What prior knowledge and skills are required?
You will need the ability to read and write clearly and should be interested in both art and history. You will have an inquiring mind and willing to ask questions as the course considers the meaning of works from a variety of angles and different contexts.
How is the course assessed?
For the A level there are two examinations. In Paper 1 (Visual Analysis and Themes) you will analyse three images and then write answers on two of the three themes on the question paper. It lasts 3 hours and is worth 50% of the A level. For Paper 2 (Periods) you will write on two periods out of five providing two short answers and one longer answer for each period. This paper lasts 3 hours and is worth 50% of the A level.
To be confirmed at the start of the course
A World History of Art
By Honour, Fleming
Published by Laurence King, ISBN 978-1856695848
Thinking About Art: A Thematic Guide to Art History
By Huntsman, Penny
Published by Wiley-Blackwell,
Exam Board and Specification Codes
A level: Edexcel Pearson 9HT0
"I have really enjoyed my time MPW and would recommend this college to anyone. I learnt how to work more efficiently and revise more effectively thanks to the tutorials and weekly Timed Assignments, which also allowed me to prepare myself mentally for the exams from the first day. My history teacher was phenomenal. He managed to get me to reengage with the subject, as well as giving me all the support and help I asked for and more, giving me the knowledge and exams technique needed to achieve an A*."
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