A Level History of Art

History of Art is so much more than just an academic sixth form subject. It is a journey of discovery across the vast expanse of human history and the artefacts that we leave behind: painting, sculpture and architecture. History of Art aims to arrive at a historical, cultural and political understanding of these objects by asking questions about the circumstances of their making, their artistic production and their public reception. By investigating the meanings of these cultural products, shaped and reshaped over time, we better understand ourselves and each other.

History of Art is a unique humanities subject which combines elements of Art, History, English, Theology and Sociology. Those who study History of Art develop a curiosity in the world around them as well as a lifelong appreciation of visual culture.

Thinking about a career in politics? History of Art equips you with nimble and confident debating abilities. Considering a job in advertising or marketing? Art History provides you with the skills to visually communicate ideas. How about a career in journalism? The subject teaches you to formulate a substantiated argument and deliberate in writing. Perhaps you are contemplating going to Art School, becoming an architect or working for a gallery, museum or auction house – Art History provides the foundation you will need to embark on your future.

A Level Course Structure:

  • Section A  Visual Analysis) Equips you with the tool of visual analysis. We look at the painting, sculpture and architecture of the Western World, from Classical Greece to the present day.
  • Section B Themes) We explore two themes that have preoccupied artists and architects throughout history: Identity and War. We examine pre-1850 and post-1850 representations of gender, nationality, rebellion, commemoration and revolution. In this section we also look at painting, sculpture and architecture from beyond the European tradition.
  • Section C Periods) We ‘deep dive’ into two of the most revolutionary and influential periods of art history: The Avant-Garde in Britain and France (1848–1899) and Modernism in Europe (1900–1939). We learn about the impact of art movements such as the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood, Impressionism, Surrealism and Dada. In addition to this, we examine the responses of contemporary critics, from Ruskin to Baudelaire, Hegel to Apollinaire.

Course benefits:

  • A residential trip to Paris in the Michaelmas term including a visit to the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Pompidou Centre and Musée Rodin.
  • An inspiring programme of lecturers from leading experts in art history. Previous speakers have included Andrew Graham Dixon, Dr James Fox and Dr Janina Ramirez.
  • A student-led Kenneth Clark society.

Course requirements and assessment structure:

  • Pupils must have attained at least a 7 in GCSE English Language or English Literature.
  • Pupils who take this course will be prepared to visit museums and galleries independently, read widely and enjoy writing about art history and visual culture.

Where can it take you?

  • Art History is a well-regarded subject choice amongst art schools and universities. Students have gone on to study at Art History at Cambridge, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Edinburgh and Leeds.

Specification Link

We currently study the following specification: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-a-levels/history-of-art-2017.html


For more information, please contact: spw@wellingtoncollege.org.uk