Warning! This unit contains mature content and may not be suitable for some students. Any student under the age of 16 who would like to enrol in this unit must first complete a Parental Consent Form.

Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. research the major developments in Western art history and explain how they were related to the cultural context in which they occurred
  2. visually identify and critically analyse artworks in terms of their period
  3. demonstrate and present clear articulation of ideas and research results using appropriate technologies.
  • Topics
    • Western Philosophical Thought
    • Indian art
    • Chinese and Japanese art
    • Islamic art
    • Gothic art
    • The Renaissance
    • The Reformation and Counter Reformation
    • Neo-classicism
    • Romanticism
    • Realism to Impressionism
    • Expressionism
    • Modernism
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online Materials
      • Resources and Links

Entry Requirements


You must have a high level of proficiency in the English language and competent essay writing skills.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as VIS18 Historical Issues in Art and Design.

An introduction to some of the major ideas and events in the history of art and design from the ancient Greeks to 1880. Intended as a basic introduction to the history of ideas and the effects such ideas have had on the evolution of art and design. While the unit has a Euro-centric bias, ideas from other cultural histories are introduced. Students are taught the visual literacy needed to be able to understand the history and the contemporary practice of art and design.

Please Note: If it’s your first time studying a Curtin University subject you’ll need to complete their compulsory ‘Academic Integrity Program’. It only takes two hours to complete online, and provides you with vital information about studying with Curtin University. The Academic Integrity Program is compulsory, so if it’s not completed your subject grades will be withheld.

Find out more about the Academic Integrity module.

  • Assignment 1 - Investigation (45%)
  • Assignment 2 - Essay (35%)
  • Assignment 3 - Test (20%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

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