The art history or art theory is a discipline studying the historical development of the visual arts. It also studies and describes the cultural functions of art in their artistic and ideological realities, as well as the complete creative process of the artist.
The history of the visual arts is accomplished by the change in the social position and function of art, the theoretical conception of it, and by the development of art forms and styles. The aim of the history of art (or art history) is to investigate the contents of the artistic objects (iconography) to determine their formal structure, arrange the objects in space and time and its reception by contemporaries, on the one hand, taking stylistic contexts into discussion, on the other hand, trying to understand the historical context as a condition of a work of art or involve it in understanding of the work.
In contrast to art criticism, art history generally chooses historical objects or at least try to approach to contemporary issues with a scientifically proven, methodically defined approach. It is acknowledged that (scientific) reception and interpretation are time-bound actions themselves.
The classic study of the history of art objects refers to European and Near Eastern works of painting and drawing, sculpture and architecture in the period from the early Middle Ages to the present. Since about the 2nd Half of the 19th Century, it also analyzes items from the church treasures, the so-called minor arts and the prehistory and early history of the artistic development before the appearance of the writing. Archeology and Egyptology (also) deal with the artistic development of the early civilizations of the Mediterranean. The art history is dedicated to the study of the historical development of European art from the time when Christianity in the 4th Century became the state religion of the Roman Empire. In the present, its study area extends to the world’s cultural influence zones of the so-called Western Hemisphere, so also about America or the contemporary artists participating in the art market. The history of architecture is often affected by the history of art, although it is to be counted in the core of the humanities today. Hardly a general art history comes without the mention of architectural history.
Students, trying to prepare their first research proposal on the subject have to look through art history research paper sample, which help them find out that the art of non-European cultures and countries outside of these countries is under so-called regional study (Sinology, Arabic studies, African studies, etc.) or cross-disciplines such as anthropology. The Art History originates from the first Half of the 20th Century (see Carl Einstein, Leo Frobenius) and other disciplines, such as the African or Asian art history. In addition, new forms of representation such as photography, art and media classes, arts and crafts, design are studied.
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