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History of Art: Object and Foundations

Code: 100540 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2500239 Art History FB 2 2
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Nuria Llorens Moreno

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
catalan (cat)
Some groups entirely in English:
Some groups entirely in Catalan:
Some groups entirely in Spanish:


Interest in knowing the historian of art's research strategies.

Objectives and Contextualisation

The course syllabus aims to acquaint the student with a wide range of key issues and critical terms related to the study of the "science and / or art" of art history.


  • Applying the mastery of the basic critical and methodological tools in order to understand and narrate Art History and reflect on the profession of art historian.
  • Applying the specific scientific methodologies of the discipline of Art History.
  • Demonstrating they know the history of the artistic ideas and the main theoretical currents that inspired the reflection about art, cinema, its creators and its audience through history.
  • Expressing specific knowledge about the origin, evolution and various fields of study of Art History, as well as the classic and actual subjects, vocabulary and debates of the discipline.
  • Recognising the fundamental problems, vocabulary and concepts of the Theory of Art and Cinema.
  • Students must be capable of applying their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and they should have building arguments and problem resolution skills within their area of study.
  • Students must develop the necessary learning skills in order to undertake further training with a high degree of autonomy.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analysing classical and current debates of the History of Art.
  2. Analysing ideas about an artistic phenomenon in a given cultural context.
  3. Analysing ideas about an artistic phenomenon, and its creators and recipients in a given cultural context.
  4. Analysing the creators of an artistic phenomenon in a specific cultural context.
  5. Analysing the recipients of an artistic phenomenon in a specific cultural context.
  6. Applying the knowledge about aesthetic ideas and Art Theory to the analysis of the artistic imagery.
  7. Critically analysing basic concepts of artistic and cinematographic theory and its evolution through history.
  8. Demonstrating the knowledge of scientific methodology, sources and Art Theory in the reading, criticism and formal, iconographic and symbolic interpretation of any artistic or cinematographic imagery.
  9. Differentiating artistic theories about an artistic phenomenon, its creators and recipients in a given cultural context.
  10. Interpreting and communicating the contents of a text about theory of art and cinema.
  11. Interpreting the fundamental concepts of Theory of Art with a critical eye.
  12. Recognising the methodological, iconographic and Art Theory-related knowledge in order to read an artistic imagery.
  13. Summarising acquired knowledge about the origin and transformations experienced by the general Theory of Art and the various fields of study of the discipline.
  14. Using the knowledge of general Art Theory in the criticism of the artistic imagery.
  15. Working in teams, respecting the other's points of view and designing collaboration strategies.


A. What is art history? What do historians do?
1. The object of art history: works of art, images and texts. Understanding and studying the work of art in its context. Related disciplines, common knowledge: art theory and criticism. aesthetics, history and archeology, literature, anthropology, the history of science, etc.

2. The endless construction of the past: the art historian at work. Research: museums and universities.

3. Art lexicon and the critical terms for art history.

B. History of art: methods, language and storytelling

How have we got here? Art history’s history

        4. The Renaissance arts in perspective: the biographical model of Giorgio Vasari and his inheritance.

        5. The enlightenment culture and the foundation of the modern discipline of art history.

a) J. J. Winckelmann and the History of the art of antiquity.

b) Classicism, collections of classical antiquities and the first modern museums: museums of masterpieces or museums of art history?

         6. Nineteenth century historiographic currents

a) The Gothic: historical knowledge and revival

b) The study of art and the beginnings of photography

c) Burckhardt and the Renaissance culture in Italy

d) Morelli's method: connoisseurship

e) The Vienna school and its inheritance. The work of Aloïs Riegl.

        7. History of art and cultural history: the survival of Aby Warburg’s projects  

 8.The social historians of art. Opening new horizons: the study of non-western art

       9. The style and other modern art history key concepts : a critical approach.

a) Heinrich Wölfflin and formalism

b) Erwin Panofsky andthe quest of meaning

c) Ernst H. Gombrich and the analysis nature representation
Art history today

       10. An introduction to the so-called 'new art history'.

       11. Visual studies: a new discipline?



The teaching methodology and the evaluation proposed in the guide may undergo some modification subject to the onsite teaching restrictions imposed by health authorities

Lectures and interactive classes.

Documents search and writing exercises

Individual work: writing a critical essay

Text analysis of the readings assigned to the topics covered in the course

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Lectures 50 2 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 12, 14
Type: Supervised      
Individual work: writing a critical essay 25 1 10, 15
Text analysis of the readings assigned to the topics covered in the course 25 1 7, 4, 5, 2, 11, 10, 14
Type: Autonomous      
Documents search and writing exercices 50 2 10, 15


The assessement will draw in three exercices

Two papers and the text analysis of the readings assigned to the topics covered in the course

In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online
format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained).
Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or
discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual
tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives

In case of plagirarism:

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation
in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero for
this activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of
several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given
a zero as the final grade for this subject.

Second chance examination:

The student could submit a second chance examination of the papers with a rating inferior to 5.

Exams and papers review procedure:

Durig the evaluative process, the lecturer will inform students (Moodle) of the examns and papers review procedure.

The Student will be rated as ‘Not assessable’ if he/she has not delivered more than 30 % of the evaluation work.



Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Paper 1 35 % 0 0 4, 1, 5, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
Paper 2 45 % 0 0 4, 1, 5, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14
Text analysis of the readings assigned to the topics covered in the course 20 % 0 0 7, 4, 1, 5, 2, 11, 10, 12, 15


General A

ARNOLD, D. (2004). Art history: A very short introduction. New York: Oxford University Press

BARNET, S. (1993). A short guide to writing about art (4th ed.). New York: Harper Collins College.

CHEETHAM, M. A., HOLLY, M. A., & MOXEY, K. (1998). The subjects of art history: Historical objects in contemporary perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

ELKINS, J. (2002). Stories of art. New York; London: Routledge.

D’ALLEVA, A. (2006), How to write Art History. London: Laurence King

FURIÓ, V. (2000). Sociología del arte, Madrid: Cátedra

GOMBRICH E. H. (1999). Ideales e ídolos: Ensayos sobre los valores en la historia y el arte. Madrid: Debate.

HARRIS, J. (2006). Art history: The key concepts. London: Routledge.

MOXEY, K. (2004). Teoría, práctica y persuasión. Estudios sobre historia del arte. Barcelona: Ediciones del Serbal.

PIZZA, Antonio. (2000). La Construcción del Pasado, Celeste, Madrid.

POOKE, G & NEWALL, D. (2010) Art History, the basics, London: Routledge.

RAMÍREZ, J. A. (1999). Cómo escribir sobre arte y arquitectura: Libro de estilo e introducción a los géneros de la crítica y de la historia del arte (2ª ed.). Barcelona: Ediciones del Serbal.

RECHT, R., & BARBILLON, C. (2007). À Quoi sert L'histoire de L'art. Paris.

Bibliografia específica A

Tema 1

DE SETA, C. (2006). La lettere e le arti: Un dialogo inquieto. Torino: Nino Aragno.

ELKINS, J. (2006). Art history versus aesthetics. New York etc.: Routledge.

GOMBRICH, E. H., & ERIBON, D. (1992). Lo que nos cuentan las imágenes : Charlas sobre el arte y la ciencia. Madrid: Debate.

LE GOFF, J., Chartier, R., & Revel, J. (1988). La nueva historia. Bilbao: Mensajero.

HOLLY, M. A., & MOXEY, K. (2002). Art history, aesthetics and visual studies. New Haven; London: Yale University Press.

KEMP, M. (2000). Visualizations: The nature book of art and science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

WESTERMAN, M. (2005). Anthropologies of art. Williamstown. Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Tema 2 i 3

Diccionari de les arts: arquitectura, escultura i pintura, Termcat http://www.termcat.cat/es/Diccionaris_En_Linia/147/

The Oxford Companion to Western Art: http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/BOOK_SEARCH.html?book=t118

The Oxford Dictionary of Art: http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/BOOK_SEARCH.html?book=t2

BAKEWELL, E., Beeman, W. O., Reese, C. M., & Schmitt, M. L. (1988). Object, image, inquiry: The art historian at work. Santa Monica: Ahip.

BAXANDALL, M. (1989). Modelos de intención: Sobre la explicación histórica de los  cuadros. Madrid: Blume.

HOLLY M.A,  SMITH, M. (eds) (2008). What is research in the visual arts? : obsession, archive, encounter. Williamstown: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

HAXTHAUSEN, C. W. (2002). The two art histories: The museum and the university. Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

MANDSFIELD, E. (2007). Making art history: A changing discipline and its institutions. New York: Routledge.

ONIANS. J. (ed.) (2006). Compression versus expression: containing and explaining the world’s art. Williamstown, Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

PANOFSKY, E. (1979). El significado en las artes visuales. Madrid: Alianza.

PERRY, G., &CUNINGHAM, C. (1999). Academies, museums and canons of art. New Haven.: Yale University Press.

ZIMMERMANN, M. F. (2003). The art historian: National traditions and institutional practices. Williamstown Mass.: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

General B

Dictionary of Art Historianshttp://www.dictionaryofarthistorians.org/index.htm

Dictionary critique des historiens de l’art actifs en France de la Révolution à la Première Guerre mondiale: http://www.inha.fr/spip.php?rubrique347

Diccionari d’historiadors de l’art català http://dhac.iec.cat/

Portal temàtic de la Universitat de Heildelberg dedicat a la Historiografia de l’art: http://www.arthistoricum.net/en/themenportale/kunstgeschichte/

BAUER, H.,(1980). Historiografía del arte: Introducción crítica al estudio de la historia del arte. Madrid: Taurus.

BAZIN, G. (1986). Histoire de l'histoire de l’art: De Vasari à nos jours. Paris: Albin Michel.

EDWARDS, S. (1999), Art and its histories: a reader. New Haven : Yale University Press

FERNIE, E. (1995; 1993). Art history and its methods: A critical anthology. Londres: Phaidon.

KULTERMAN, U. (1996), Historia de la historia del arte, El camino de una ciencia. Madrid: Akal

MARÍAS, F. (1996). Teoría del arte II, Madrid: Historia 16.

NELSON, R. S., & SHIFF, R. (2003). Critical terms for art history (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago.

OCAMPO, E. i PERÁN, M. (1991). Teorías del arte. Barcelona: Icaria.

PÄCHT, O. (1986). Historia del arte y metodología. Madrid: Alianza.

PODRO, M. (2001). Los historiadores del arte críticos. Madrid: A. Machado Libros.

POMMIER, E. (1995). Histoire de l’histoire de l’art, Cycles de conférences organisés au Musée du Louvre, París: Klincksieck.

PREZIOSI, D. (1998). The art of art history: A critical anthology. Oxford etc.: Oxford University Press.

ROSSI PINELLI, Orietta (A cura). (2014) La storia delle storie dell’arte, Einaudi, Torino.



If a specific software is necessary we will inform the student