Ways of Seeing

The details
Art History and Theory
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 03 October 2019
Saturday 14 December 2019
03 January 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA V314 Art History,
BA V315 Art History (Including Placement Year),
BA V31B Art History (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA V350 Art History (Including Foundation Year),
BA V35A Art History (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This introductory module examines the relationship between visual culture and social life through case studies spanning more than two millennia of history. The module focuses on a select number of major developments in a range of media and cultures, emphasising the ways that works of art function both as aesthetic and material objects and as cultural artefacts and forces.

From sculptures of ancient Roman politicians and Renaissance Florentine narrative paintings, to virtuoso engravings and feats of Baroque illusionism, if you have an interest in the visual and would like to know more about `why` and `how` art and society interrelate, then this module will be of interest to you.

Designed to foster the skill of visual analysis, which will enable you to engage with a broad range of art works, this module is intended to develop your understanding of why images and things appear as they do.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

1. to introduce students to a wide range of methods, research materials, scholarly approaches and relevant terminology associated with a study of art history and the visual;
2. to stimulate students to develop skills in oral and written communication through essays, debate in seminars and written exercises;
3. to introduce students to original works of art and architecture in galleries, museums and in situ as appropriate, in addition to their classroom studies.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should also have acquired a set of transferable skills, and in particular be able to:

1. define the task in which they are engaged and exclude what is irrelevant;
2. seek and organise the most relevant discussions and sources of information;
3. process a large volume of diverse and sometimes conflicting arguments;
4. compare and evaluate different arguments and assess the limitations of their own position or procedure;
5. write and present verbally a succinct and precise account of positions, arguments, and their presuppositions and implications;
6. be sensitive to the positions of others and communicate their own views in ways that are accessible to them;
7. think 'laterally' and creatively (i.e., to explore interesting connections and possibilities, and to present these clearly rather than as vague hunches);
8. maintain intellectual flexibility and revise their own position based on feedback;
9. think critically and constructively

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

1 x 2 hour lecture/seminar per week for 10 weeks (Plus visits to galleries, museums and/or in situ as appropriate, in addition to classroom studies).


  • Baxandall, Michael. (1988, c1972) Painting and experience in fifteenth century Italy: a primer in the social history of pictorial style, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Nodelman, Sheldon. (1975) 'How to read a Roman portrait', in Art in America. vol. 63, pp.27-33
  • Warwick, Genevieve. (2004) 'Speaking Statues: Bernini's Apollo and Daphne at the Villa Borghese', in Art History. vol. 27 (3) , pp.353-381
  • Dempsey, Charles. (1968) 'Mercurius Ver: The Sources of Botticelli's Primavera', in Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes. vol. 31, pp.251-
  • Muller, Jeffrey M. (1982) 'Rubens's Theory and Practice of the Imitation of Art', in The Art Bulletin. vol. 64 (2) , pp.229-247
  • Bassett, Sarah E. (2008) 'Style and meaning in the imperial panels at San Vitale', in Artibus et historiae. vol. 29, pp.49-57
  • Giulia Bartrum; Koerner, Joseph Leo. (c2002) Albrecht Dürer and his legacy: the graphic work of a Renaissance artist, London: British Museum.
  • John Rupert Martin. (1977) Baroque, London: A. Lane., pp.271-273
  • D'Alleva, Anne. (c2010) How to write art history, London: Laurence King.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   In-class Quiz Week 3     
Coursework   In-class Quiz Week 5     
Coursework   In-class Quiz Week 9     
Coursework   In-class Quizzes TOTAL    10% 
Coursework   Essay (1500 words)  19/11/2019  30% 
Coursework   Essay (2500 words)  14/01/2020  40% 
Practical   Slide Test    20% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Diana Presciutti, email:
Dr Diana Bullen Presciutti Email:



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 15 hours, 14 (93.3%) hours available to students:
1 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Art History and Theory

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