St Peter's School
In History of Art, the visual heritage of the Western tradition from 500BC through to the present day in Europe and North America are studied in an analytical and critical way. It focuses on the works of art both in the context of the development of the medium of expression itself and the historical, political, social and cultural context and influences of their production. Painting, Sculpture and Architecture are studied from a number of perspectives. Style, structure, techniques, form and genre will be considered to give pupils the capacity to interpret and analyse the art and architecture they encounter.
The first AS written paper will present three photographs, one each on sculpture, painting and architecture, which pupils will be invited to analyse and interpret. Works of art are also explored thematically. Themes will include: subjects and genres; the social and historical context; patronage; the status of artists; the form and function of building. In total there are eight themes to be studied, essays on three of which are written in the second AS paper. At A2 level two from eight periods are chosen for study ranging from the 13th- 14th Century to the second half of the 20th Century. Here the skills and understanding of art and the context of its development gained in the AS year are applied to a defined period. While a period is defined, the artists and works within it are not. This allows pupils and teachers to consider works of particular interest them and gives scope, rewarded in the examination, for pupils to delve further and deeper into a period if they so wish.
While the primary subject matter is visual, a readiness to read widely and an enjoyment of writing is essential. It will appeal both in its own right to those who want to understand our cultural heritage but also to those who wish to support their other subjects. Works of visual art, literature, music, history philosophy and the production of art itself all exert influences on each other. Combining History of Art with Fine Art, Music, the humanities or languages offered at the school will enrich and inform their study.