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Introduction to Western Visual Culture: European Renaissance to the Present LIBS 1126

Liberal Studies Course

Course details

Students are introduced to key visual images, sculptures, and buildings in the Western cultural tradition: their features, materials, interrelationships, and social, religious, economic, and political contexts. After brief grounding in the visual culture of the ancient world and Middle Ages, the course focuses on painting, architecture / built environment, sculpture, photography and other products of visual culture in Europe and the Americas from the 1400s CE to the present. The Renaissance, Mannerism, the Baroque, Neoclassicism, Realism, Impressionism, Post-Impressionism, Modernism and Post-Modernism are addressed. Influences on Western art from China, Japan, India, and Africa are also briefly considered. Through studying how visual culture has been defined, classified, ranked, and analyzed in Western culture – an approach established in Renaissance Europe – course participants will be equipped to contextualize the built environment, and past and curr




Not offered this term
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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Define and use standard terminology central to the study of visual culture (images, objects, buildings), including chronological and stylistic features.
  • Demonstrate awareness of continuity and change in the history of visual culture, by discussing changes in subjects, themes, styles and materials in painting, sculpture, architecture, photography and other products of visual culture.
  • Analyze selected works of artists and architects in specific periods in Western art.
  • Identify major cultural, scientific and technological changes that significantly affected visual culture.
  • Discuss the roles of artists, architects, patrons, and other leaders in developing, enforcing and critiquing artistic norms.

Effective as of Fall 2022

Related Programs

Introduction to Western Visual Culture: European Renaissance to the Present (LIBS 1126) is offered as a part of the following programs:

School of Construction and the Environment

  1. Residential Interiors
    Diploma Part-time


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