History of Art

Art records power, status, revolution and evolution and the History of Art is the History of Mankind.

Artistic representation of the world is inevitably embedded in the social, political, economic and historical turmoil of the time and art thus becomes a commentary on that turmoil.

Girls at More House are able to gain a broad cultural insight into world art over the last 2500 years through the study of History of Art and become informed commentators on the world around them.


Head of Department

Mrs B Hunt - bhunt@morehousemail.org.uk


To engender a love and appreciation of art in its different forms and provide a knowledge and skills base – enabling More House girls to be critical, credible and competitive.

Knowledge and Skills Gained:

  •  Learning methods of researching, investigating and interpreting
  • Gaining knowledge about the roles and achievements of art practitioners
  • Understanding the relationship between society and art
  • Utilising appropriate art historical terms and issues
  • Appreciating how works of art and architecture are interpreted and evaluated
  • Developing an appreciation of significant art historical themes and genres from classical Greece to the end of the twentieth century

YEARS 7, 8 AND 9

Students will be given a broad Introduction to Art History.

What is it? Understanding that Art History is the History of Man and exists in a continuum.

In Year 7, girls will complete an investigation into four art elements:

Cave Painting; Maps are Stories; Religion in Painting; The Notion of Pop Art

They will go onto look at different genres in Art History: Portraiture, Single/Multi Figure Sculpture, Landscape And Narrative.

In Year 8, girls will make an exploration into the role of ‘frames’ in Art History, investigating frames as altarpiece; content; window; decoration. They will create their own frames and critically evaluate these as well as interpret the work of others.

They will go on to study Appropriation in Art - Picasso/Manet; Bacon/Velazquez; Duchamp/Leonardo, focusing on how artists borrow, lean on, and re-invent their ideas, styles and imagery.

Year 9 opens with an introduction to the representation of women across time and place; focusing on interpretations of women’s roles, by male and female artists. We shall study seven women artists across time including - Barbara Longhi; Rosalba Carriera; Berthe Morisot; Gwen John; Paula Modersohn-Becker; Meret Oppenheim; Tracey Emin.

The year goes on to consider a cross curricular examination of war art - propaganda; narrative; protest.

The study of art focuses on Periods; Genres; Places; Events; Themes; People; as well as:

  • Subject and genre
  • Materials, techniques and processes
  • Form style and function of the art
  • Context, status, ethnicity of the work
  • Environment and Patronage


AS  AQA 1251 - History of Art – Legacy Syllabus - (Art of the Western World)

The AS involves 2 modules which can be banked or taken as an AS.

Unit 1 involves Visual Analysis & Interpretation of painting, sculpture and architecture from  the Western World from 500BCE to 2000CE. It includes the study of the formal features in paintings, architecture and sculpture, in relation to:

  • each other
  • subject matter and genres
  • movement, genre, style and structure
  • building types and their function
  • historical, social and cultural contexts

Developing knowledge and understanding of:

  • the ways in which formal analysis can contribute to the interpretation of works of architecture and art, and so elicit meaning
  • appropriate architectural, art and art historical terminology

Unit 2 involves studying Themes in History of Art – Girls will be able to understand and analyse art in terms of:

  • subjects and  genres
  • materials, techniques and processes
  • form and style
  • Historical and social contexts
  • Patronage
  • Social and cultural status
  • Gender, nationality and ethnicity

and how these relate to interpretation of painting, sculpture and architecture.

A2 AQA 2251 - History of Art - History of Art – Legacy Syllabus - (Art of the Western World)

The A2/full A Level  involves 2 further modules.

Unit 3 is an Investigation & Interpretation - 19th C Europe, with reference to:

formal features, styles, materials and techniques, subject matter, function, contexts, concepts and ideas in painting and sculpture, detailing individual artists from:

  • Classicism
  • Romanticism
  • Realism
  • Impressionism
  • Symbolism
  • Neo-Impressionism
  • Post-Impressionism

  including: Painting/Sculpture/ Architecture with reference to:

  • Status of the artist
  • Patronage
  • The Modern world
  • Women artists
  • Influence of non-European art forms

Unit 4 is an Investigation & Interpretation - Art And Architecture In Twentieth-Century Europe And America 1900- 1945 with reference to:

formal features, styles, materials and techniques, subject matter, function, contexts, concepts and ideas in painting and sculpture, detailing individual artists from:

  • Fauvism
  • Cubism Futurism Expressionism Dada Surrealism
  • Painting
  • Abstract and non-figurative work Portraiture
  • Sculpture
  • Abstraction
  • Commemorative Portraiture
  • Single and multi-figure
  • Architecture Domestic Mass Housing Civic
  • Influence of non-European art forms Modernity


As part of the course, we shall visit some of the great galleries of the world and participate in appropriate workshops

We run a department blog for gallery visits and exhibitions information.

This year the girls have visited:

Tate Modern; Tate Britain, Royal Academy, National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery, Cross Curricular trips to The Imperial War Museum, Ancient Greece, The Foundling Museum

Trips to Galleries and Museums across London and in Paris, Barcelona, Venice, Florence and Rome will be planned during the next few academic cycles to enable the girls to experience a variety of Art, Architecture and Sculpture in context and first hand.