So far in this course, we
have discussed issues relative to individual artists and individual works of
art. At this point, it is important to return to the concept of the Geist,
the spirit of the times these works reflect. Art History is a discipline
dedicated to the study of the social, economic, and political influences on
the evolution of artistic styles across geographic and temporal boundaries.
Without such a basis for study, the work of art could only be discussed in
respect to the elements of design and composition. In this last section of
the course, we will use the vocabularies and critical methodologies already introduced
to define the artists’ and art works’ cultural contexts.