Art history is itself the study of the rich heritage of visual arts produced by human societies. When studying it as an IB Diploma course, students get a uniquely interdisciplinary experience, with links to a wealth of other studies: literature, religion, science, architecture, language, technology, anthropology, archaeology and theatre.
Human cultures from the earliest times have produced art that has fulfilled a range of functions—from painting, sculpture, architecture, design, photography and applied arts, to installation, conceptual and body art. Students of DP art history can develop their understanding of artistic heritage in broad terms, from delving into scholarly sources and gaining first-hand knowledge of museum and art gallery collections, to analysing the visual imagery surrounding them in all aspects of life.
Art history gives students the means to critically engage with the images which saturate our world, to explore why they look the way they do, and to interpret their layers of meaning. And the subject links to the core of the Diploma Programme, providing tangible examples for students to discuss in theory of knowledge (TOK).
IB World Schools like ours can design their own course of study by choosing topics relevant and of interest to students. The choice of topics in the syllabus encompasses a range of world cultures. And our students develop a keen insight into those topic areas, gaining a deep knowledge and understanding by means of a core curriculum which requires analysis of artworks in a variety of ways: in terms of form, meaning and function, historical context and patronage, materials and techniques, as well as through understandings of identity.Topics include:
- Topic 1: Art of Ancient Greece or Topic 2: Art of Ancient Rome 130
- Topic 3: Art of Christendom (pre-1400) or Topic 4: Art of South Asia and South-East Asia (pre-1300)
- Topic 5: Art of the Americas (pre-1600) or Topic 6: Art of China and Japan (c.1000 – c.1600)
- Topic 7: Art of the Islamic World (c. 600 – c.1600) or Topic 8: Art of the Renaissance (c.1400 – c.1550)
- Topic 9: Art of the Baroque Period (c.1600 – c.1720) or Topic 10: Rococo to Realism (c.1720 – c.1860)
- Topic 11: Modern Art in Europe and America (c.1860 – c.1960) or Topic 12: Global contemporary art (c.1960-)