The art history game

ArtHistoryGameboard

We got an introduction to the classification of periods in art history by playing a game. We worked in pairs with a game board, where a chronology of representative works was arranged around a square. Dick showed works of art on a screen, and each pair had to agree on what period the work was from, then the whole class gave their guesses and we discussed it. After classifying about twenty works, we had a pretty strong “spatial” sense of “where” in time the various periods fall relative to each other, and what some of the general identifying characteristics are.

The chronology starts in the bottom right corner, and moves clockwise. I’ve followed Dick’s labeling in blocking the periods out in the lists below.

  1. Nature dominated
    Paleolithic
    Egyptian
    Aegean
    Greek geometric
    Greek archaic
  2. Man dominated
    Greek classic
    Greek Hellenistic
    Roman
  3. God dominated
    Early Christian / Byzantine
    Romanesque
    Gothic
    Late Gothic
    Early Renaissance
  4. Man dominated
    High Renaissance
    Mannerism
    Baroque
    Neo-classic
    Romanticism
    Realism
    Impressionism
    Post-impressionism
    Fauvism
  5. Science dominated
    Futurism
    Cubism
    Surrealism
    De Stijl
    Dada
  6. Science & technology dominated
    Abstract expressionism
    Pop art / Op art
    Conceptual
    Photo-realism
    Post-modernism

What is the central concern of the art of this time? What world view is represented in this work? How does the artist understand his fate and role in the world: Man as a victim of nature? Man as a servant of God? Man imposing his will over nature? Is the art concerned with faithfully representing reality, or the significance of reality? These are some of the important questions to consider in deciding which period a work is from.

There are 2 comments

Comments are closed.