Introduction to Art History

A person stands alone in a museum gallery, looking at paintings.

A visitor to Berlin's Gemäldegalerie looks at an exhibition of paintings from the Renaissance. Photo by Joan Brebo on Flickr. License: CC BY-NC.


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Fall 2018



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course investigates the power of art in historical perspective, focusing on Euro-American traditions of art from the fourteenth to the twenty-first century. It examines changing conceptions of the artist, the work of art, and the discipline of art history, exploring the roles images and objects have played over time, how they functioned in various social, economic, and cultural contexts, and whose interests they served or sought to disrupt.

Related Content

Kristel Smentek. 4.601 Introduction to Art History. Fall 2018. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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