Art of the Western World

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Art of the Western World is an introductory-level course that examines the works of art that have come to define the Western visual tradition from ancient Greece to the present day. The course helps students to appreciate the formal qualities, iconography, and technical achievements of these extraordinary monuments and shows how they closely reflect the prevailing attitudes of the society in which they were created. The course also explores the goals of the artists and patrons responsible for their creation. The course examines Western art against the backdrop of its time. Divided into two half-hour segments, each program covers the art of two related eras, such as Greece and Rome, or Romanesque and Gothic. Filmed across America and Europe, the series enables students to experience a selection of pivotal art works through the immediacy and impact of the close-range camera. The course components acquaint students with the various ways of looking at the great art works of Western civilization and give them intellectual tools that enable them to understand these monuments. Students will also come to understand the Western philosophical traditions that link the present with the past, and how these have affected the development of the visual arts over the millennia.

Producer:Annenberg Learner
Running Time:9 hours   (9 episodes)
Preview Episode:The Classical Ideal 600 B.C. - 350 A.D.   (#101)