Picasso, Pablo
Oil on canvas, 39 x 62 cm 
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia









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Van Gogh at K-M

Van Gogh at K-M2


A chronological interdisciplinary survey designed to strengthen the studentís fundamental grasp of human values through the study of humanityís ideas, discoveries, and creative achievements. Areas of consideration will include art, literature, and philosophy. This course begins with the Renaissance and continues through the modern period. No prerequisite.


This course has two main objectives. The first is to introduce the student to the humanities, to provide a sense of the richness and diversity of human achievement since the Renaissance. The second is to improve the studentís ability to think critically, write clearly, and speak persuasively. Critical thinking about the past is essential to understanding the present.

By the end of the course, each student will demonstrate progress in the following course objectives:

  • Students differentiate between world cultures and between various historical/cultural eras.
  • Students display basic knowledge of major world religions and philosophies.
  • Students display basic knowledge of major world events and developments during the modern period.
  • Students develop an appreciation for the value of the arts and sciences within society and civilization.
  • Students interpret the perspectives of the disciplines within the broader, systematic context of the humanities.
  • Students demonstrate a basic analysis of primary source materials and the ability to communicate that analysis.
  • Students make a more extensive connection with at least one era, aspect, artifact, or figure from our modern past.


The following lectures are archived for your convenience. Please note that the lectures may differ slightly from what is presented in class, and I will often say more about these subjects in class than I do in these presentations. All students are responsible for the material presented in class. These lectures give you a chance to review the material at your own pace. Enjoy.

Lecture #1: Introduction

Lecture #2: The Early Renaissance

Lecture #3: High Renaissance Masters

Lecture #4: Northern Renaissance, Northern Humanism...

Lecture #5: Painting in the Baroque Age

Lecture #6: The Age of Reason

Lecture #7: The Age of Reason Part II


Lecture #8: Romanticism

Lecture #9: Impressionism and Early Modernism

Lecture #10: Post-Impressionism (NGA Collection)

Lecture #11: Van Gogh (Source Report candidates)

Lecture #12: Post-Impressionism (background) 

To visit the actual tours at the National Gallery of Art, use the following link: http://www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/french19.htm

Midterm Exam\

IPI H2H Game

C2H2H Game2

Guest Lecture-- Van Gogh.pptinal

Source Report #2: Painting after Impressionism

Your second source report is due Friday. For your second source report, I want you to choose a painting by one of the following artists to examine in depth. Because each artist has a great many fascinating works, we will use websites as our galleries. Unfortunately, the more recent the artist's death, the less chance their works are available for viewing on the internet (for free, anyway). I have chosen four significant artists from roughly the time period following Impressionism- Van Gogh, Gauguin, Picasso, and Matisse. Check the websites below for some possibilities. If you have another painting you'd rather do, great, you just need to find a decent image of the painting (I have heard of something called "books" that might have such images, or I guess you could see a painting in person). Great artists only please. So go to one of the following sites, pick a painting, and write a 1 1/2 to 2 page paper. In your paper you need to do the following:

1. Describe what you see, as much as you can and in your own words;

2. Discuss how the painting affects you- how do you feel, why do you like, what strikes you about what you see;

3. Explain why you chose the painting.

This is very basic stuff. What do you see and why do you like what you see? Obviously, then, you need to choose a painting that you like, or at least that's interesting to you. Don't choose anything out of the book, or that Professor Lurz discussed in her Van Gogh lecture. Otherwise, everything's fair game. You may have to do some navigating, and ignore any pleas for money.

Here are the links:

For some easy to find Van Gogh works, click this link: Lecture #11: Van Gogh.

For more Van Gogh:



For Gauguin:



For Picasso:



For Matisse:



Good luck, see you Friday. 1 1/2 to 2 pages (yes, typed). Due at the beginning of class Friday.



LIST OF SUGGESTED FILMS for Film Analysis Paper (due Monday, Apr. 2nd)


Amadeus                      Mozartís life

Amistad                       African slavery & America

Apocalypse Now        Insanity & the Vietnam War



Dead Poets Society   Value of literature and open mind

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Fight Club

Fisher King            Search for redemption in urban American society

Hamlet                     Shakespeareís Danish tragedy- Brannagh version

The Mission            Search for redemption in colonial South America

One Flew Over the Cuckooís Nest

Platoon                   Reality of Vietnam War

Saving Private Ryan Reality of World War II: Normandy invasion

Schindlerís List          Nazi Germany and the Holocaust

V for Vendetta



Please review all due dates- be sure all of your work is turned in on time.




All student work will be judged according to the following academic criteria:

  • Accuracy of information.

  • Organization and clarity of thoughts.

  • Depth of critical thinking and observation.

  • Basic writing mechanics.

  • Fidelity of work (no plagiarism, cheating, etc.).

  • Evidence of creative or innovative thinking.

Every studentís final grade will be earned via the following:

  1. Exams 30 % (each exam=15%)

  2. Analysis Papers 20 % 

  3. Class Participation 20 % 

  4. Other Writing Assignments 30 % 

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 VAN GOGH, Vincent
Branches with Almond Blossom
February 1890
Oil on canvas
73.5 x 92 cm
F671 JH1891
Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam

Scan by http://http://www.artchive.com/ Mark Harden