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HA1B3 - Altarpieces

  • Module code: HA1B3
  • Module name: Altarpieces
  • Department: History of Art
  • Credit: 15

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module introduces the altarpiece, one of the central genres of Western religious art. We shall be considering this category from its late medieval origins through to the mid-sixteenth century, drawing on examples from both Italy and Northern Europe, in both sculpture and painting. The course will deal with a number of important themes: the origins and formal development of the altarpiece over time; its functions and their impact on content and structure; the significance of the ‘audience’; the differences and similarities between north and south; and the relevance of materials, contracts and construction.

Principal learning outcomes

All first-year Short Options are especially geared towards first-hand, close study of works of art and architecture in museums, galleries or on site. They foster skills in visual analysis, and promote students’ ability to analyse artworks independently, thus providing them with skills necessary for their more advanced work.

Timetabled teaching activities

1 x 1œ-hour seminar per week

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
15 CATS (Module code: HA1B3-15)
C (Assessed/examined work) 1500 word essay 50%
  1 hour examination 50%
VA (Visiting students only) 100% assessment (part year) visiting 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core