Part One - Lectures 1 - 8
Art across the Ages is a mind-broadening survey of Western visual art designed to familiarize you with its basic history, acquaint you with major artists and styles, and provide you with a broad foundation for deeper exploration. In 48 insightful lectures taught by Professor Ori Z. Soltes of Georgetown University, you get a ready grasp of the substance and significance of a vast range of works, along with a solid knowledge of how they fit into the continuity of Western art.
1. Continuity and Transformationâ€”What Is Art?
This lecture considers two sides of a fundamental issue in examining what art is, observing how art reflects on its own forms across history in a constantly changing dialogue involving style, form, and symbol.
2. Art as the Offspring of Religion
We turn to a second discussion of what art is and does, drawing on two Latin termsâ€”sacer: the unknown, death, divinity, and profanus: life, the familiar, the humanâ€”to help us understand how visual art has served religion since as far back as both can be traced.
3. Preclassical Greek Art
Having arrived in the previous lecture at a discussion of how the Greeks absorbed, emulated, and developed long-held architectural ideas, we turn to some of the specifics of early Greek statuary and vase painting.
4. Toward the Classical Athenian Moment
Stepping between vase painting and sculpture to the beginnings of the Classical period, this lecture discusses some of the important characteristics encountered in the development of Classical Greek art, including ethos, symmetria, and pathos.
5. Beyond the Borders of Classical Greek Art
Beginning with a discussion of the brevity of Athenian supremacy and the visual reflection of this by Athenian artists and the contrasts and tensions that show up in their work, we arrive at a depiction of Alexander the Great and consider briefly how Indian art may have been influenced by the Greeks.
6. The Birth of the Newâ€”Hellenistic Art
We consider the period after Alexander's death when the Greek sense of the world expanded and the modes and media of visual expression further diversified. Ultimately, we explore the question of where to draw the line between Hellenistic and Roman art.
7. Hellenistic, Etruscan, and Early Roman Art
An exploration of the relationship between Roman and Greek art leads to the question of the relationship between Roman and Etruscan art and culture, ultimately bringing us to a focus on the evolution of a distinctly Roman imprint in art, from portraiture and political propaganda to architectural innovation.
8. Roman and Judaean Art
Just as Roman art and architecture were influenced by the Greeks, Etruscans, and Egyptians, so were Judaean art and architecture influenced by the Hellenistic and Roman worlds. In this lecture, a detail of the Arch of Titus leads us to a discussion of the building of the Second Temple in Jerusalem and other Judaean structures followed by a study of Roman wall painting and finally a look at innovations in Roman architecture and equestrian portraiture.