The World of Art

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Laas Geel, Somalia

The art history program starts at the beginning, the very first sculptures and (cave) paintings from the Old Stone Age and that is immediately a flying start in which we encounter artistic principles that are still current today.
We look not only at the art of Europe, but of the whole world. We pay attention not only to art itself, but also to the social and cultural context. We also look at the development of religion, poetry and philosophy, which in the past were often connected, including the visual arts.
The first module deals with prehistory: the stone age and the formation of the first high cultures. The second module deals with the rise of high culture in the Orient, Europe and China. The third module discusses the classical culture of Europe, especially Greece and Rome. In the fourth module we look at the rise of Islam, and the cultures of Central, South and Southeast Asia. Finally, the fifth module is dedicated to the nomads of Central Asia, to China, Japan, Oceania and America, to conclude with the caliphate of the Abbasids.
Each chapter concludes with a question in which the connection is sought between the discussed old and contemporary art. The reactions serve as a discussion document and are stored as such. The intention is that the collected reactions open up new insights.


The course The world of art is divided into 5 modules of 5 lessons each, 25 in total.
Each lesson is completed with an assignment.
After each fifth lesson a reflection takes place in a video conference.

Theory program
Each lesson deals with a different aspect of knowledge, to which an assignment is linked.
The assignment (texts and/or illustrations) must be uploaded on the site and will be provided with comments within 4 days (in case of an unexpected delay consultation will follow within 4 days).
After receiving the comment on the submitted assignment, the next lesson can be opened.

In addition to commenting on results, the focus is on the development process. This will be further discussed during the reflection.
This takes place after each module of 5 lessons: student and teacher meet in a digital meeting and discuss progress together.

Free work periods
Five times a year, free work periods are scheduled in which no comments or reflections are made. These coincide with the (Dutch) holiday periods and last for a fortnight (in summer eight weeks).
It concerns the following weeks:
1: Week 7-8; 2: Week 17-18; 3: Week 27-34; 4: Week 42-43; 5: Week 52-53
Participants can use these periods to catch up on any arrears, or to expand training.
During one of these free work periods, an annual Practicum is organised in which participants can take physical lessons from international guest lecturers, possibly combined with a conference.
For this purpose, a separate entry should be made.

Program overview

Module  I
The beginning
About the old and the new Stone Age, the rise of the first agricultural cultures and of the first cities.
About art as a magical endeavour, about perception versus concept, symbolism versus registration, about the narrative in art.

Module II
About early high cultures in Africa, Asia and Europe. Invention of script (and many other items).
About art and society, about manupilation and propaganda, about simplicity versus exurbitance, about the drama and the supernatural.

Module III
Classical Europe
About the rise of high culture in Europe, especially the Mediterranean area,
About philosophy in art, thesis and antithesis, ideals versus reality, and how everything stems from tradition

Module IV
The magical east
About the Byzantine Empire and the amazing cultures of Asia
About spirituality in art, the common religion versus one’s own inner self.

Module V:
The rich world
About flourishing and fascinating cultures in central and east Asia, Oceania and America.
About goals in art, Connections versus paradoxes, aesthetics versus expression, and what is meaning ?

If you are interested in this course you can first open the free trial lesson : Click here
Registration then will be done by completing the assignment and uploading the result.