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Summer Examinations: 2000/2001


Time allowed: 3 hours.

Candidates must answer THREE questions, ONE from SECTION A and TWO from SECTION B.

In SECTION B candidates must answer questions from two different modules; and in SECTION B they must not answer questions from a module for which they wrote an assessed essay.

Each question carries the same weight and candidates are advised to spread their time evenly between the questions.

Read carefully the instructions on the answer book and make sure that the particulars required are entered on each answer book.


1. 'The historian must acknowledge that the developments and correspondences he or she discerns [in the past] are not only the product of the scholar's imagination, but that they serve a particular cultural function in the historical horizon in which they are created' (Keith Moxey). Discuss.

2. In her essay Teaching the Rich, Carol Duncan condemns what she describes as 'establishment humanism'. What does she mean by this term and how do the approaches to art history she outlines represent a challenge to it?

3. Can we search for the 'intrinsic meaning' of a work of art?

4. How far should an artist's gender be taken into account when discussing their work?

5. Discuss the role of myth in artists' biographies of the Renaissance.


Varieties of Interpretation

6. Is the meaning of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon dependent of the gender on the viewer?

7. Is it legitimate to interpret Matisse's Bonheur de Vivre in terms of the artist's unconscious motivations?

The Social History of Art

8. On what grounds do historians such as Green, Mort and Hadjinicolaou accuse the social history of art of failing to make a decisive break with dominant conventions within the discipline?

9. In what ways might the social history of art encourage us to look at works of art differently?

Reading Signs

10. Is it possible to make an objective reading of the narthex panel at Hagia Sophia, Constantinople?

11. What can we learn by applying semiotics to the study of Giotto?

Feminism and Art History

12. What does eighteenth-century British visual culture tell us about the sexual double standard?

13. 'A Masculine and Daring Spirit': discuss the art of Angelica Kauffman with reference to eighteenth-century concepts of gender.

Renaissance Art: Identity and Psychoanalysis

14. What are the limitations of Freud's account of Leonardo's imagery?

15. How does Liebert's account of Michelangelo's childhood elucidate his art?