Art History - an academic field

The Study of Art History

The study of the historical evolution of works of art, such as sculpture, paintings, and other artworks, with the goal of interpreting and comprehending both intellectual work and human actions, is known as art history. Additionally, the discipline aims to give these works of visual art meaning. (Yari et al., 2016). As a result, art history considers and incorporates artworks within a variety of intellectual and societal contexts.

Threats to Artworks

There are currently a variety of threats to works of art that modern art historians are interested in. Natural and man-made threats are included in the groups. Technology, such as 3D printing, is one of the human dangers to artistic creations. 3D printing technology can be used to reproduce masterpieces. The replica is usually of high quality and an extremely realistic reproduction of painting and artist's signature (Yari et al., 2016). Therefore, 3D printing threatens the patent systems of artworks such as painting and sculpture produced in the past. Furthermore, without the name carbon dating the art historians would not ascertain the history of ownership of a specific artwork.

Human Threats to Artwork

Another human threat to artwork includes any politically and religiously driven action against artistic freedom. Many art historians may fear to visit various museums, theaters, attending concerts or any cultural event. The attacks linked to both religious and political movement of artistic work affects the artistic expression and the attempts by the art historians to deal with such threats while carrying out their evaluation of the artworks. Recently, there have been various attacks carried out by gunmen in different music concerts around the world. Research shows that these attacks are religiously or politically oriented (Feller et al., 2015). To that effect, these attacks affect the interpretation of the artworks since there acquire limited information artists who experience attacks on their artistic freedom.

Natural Threats to Artworks

Natural threats to artworks that draw attention of the contemporary art historians include natural disasters such as hurricane and floods that may destroy the painting and sculpture. Hurricane season is a threat to artworks in different States in American and around the world. Hurricane destroy artworks such as painting and sculpture in studios and even museums that are not properly constructed. Waterlogging due to flood can also result in inaccessibility of museums and cultural centers (Feller et al., 2015). To that effect, the destruction of a painting in the event of floods may affect interfere with the artist's signature and the date of production. An art historian cannot ascertain the exact date of a painting or a sculpture was produced. Furthermore, access to museums and cultural centers destroyed by flood when art historians need to carry out their research may prove difficult, hence delaying the interpretation of specific artworks. Secondly, great intensities of humidity and light are natural threats to artwork (Yari et al., 2016). Too much humidity and light result in damage that speeds up discoloration, fading or destruction of photographs, books, documents and fabric. This affects the way art historians may interpret the colors used in artworks. Also, discoloration of photos and paintings may affect the way art historians interpret the captions and artist's signature.

Western Architecture Throughout History

Western architecture has advanced for many years now. Today, there are complex buildings that never cease to amaze. However, the architecture that occurred in Stone Age and Bronze Age establishes a great history of classical ruins and architectural styles that are still adored to date (Jukka, 1986). Without the sophisticated construction materials and tools that we see today, the buildings and tombs of Stone Age still show exemplary artwork and classic architecture from which many architects still borrow.

Newgrange Tomb: A Stone Age Monument

Established in 3200 BCE, the tomb of Newgrange is an architectural stone monument in Ireland and is regarded as passage-grave. Historical research indicates that the stone is older than the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange tomb acted as a place of burial of an appreciated tribal leader. Furthermore, Newgrange was established when the stone was the chief material used in architecture (Jukka, 1986). To that effect, the layers of rocks and earth were placed in an alternating manner while constructing the tomb with grass budding on its top. The tomb forms artwork of its kind with a rich history and classical ruins.

Tholos Tomb: Bronze Age Architecture in Greece

The tomb had a great cultural legacy alongside other tombs constructed using the same technique and knowhow. On the other hand, in 1600 BCE Greece built greater tombs as architecture continued to transform immensely. One of these tombs was The Tholos tomb constructed in Bronze Age by people of Mycenae. The tomb beehive shaped with the impressively constructed interior. The key chamber is built in the form of a circular room. Corbel vault roofs the tombs in a regular pattern while the ashlar stones lean inward to converge in single capstone at the topmost. The tombs act as symbols of burial place appreciated by the Mycenae culture. Inside the tombs are artwork symbols that expressed appreciation of power as well as a wealth of the dead. "Treasury of Atreus" is the most monumental of Tholos tombs in Greece. With time, architecture continued to improve tremendously; more complex structures emerged around the world (Jukka, 1986). Numerous decades later, Pantheon building was constructed.

The Pantheon: Classic Roman Architecture

Pantheon is one of the buildings in Roma constructed around 128 CE. Built using concrete and brick, the building is circular and has a gabled roof reinforced by a colonnade every side. Its gabled roof alongside triangular pediment is supported by the Corinthian columns (Nora & Claudio, 1989). However, there are large bronze twin doors that are regarded as the earliest models of this kind.

The Dome of the Florence Cathedral: Renaissance Revival

The revival of ancient works in Renaissance architecture can be observed in the Dome of the Florence Cathedral constructed in 1436 by Filippo Brunelleschi. As the dome grows vertically, it strengthened itself through the vertical rows that interlace one another. The building represents a revived technique of architecture. Circular windows allow light inside the building. The building is megalithic in style and domed shaped and is still one of the most appreciated architectural work of skyline (Nora & Claudio, 1989). A lot of these works on the building were borrowed from the past architectural styles.

Shared Features of Architectural Styles

There exists connection that these architectural styles have in common. It is clear that the architects were inspired by classical ruins. Therefore, the architects of the above buildings and tombs fused classical ruins into constructions to come up with structures that are classical in style. For example, the rounded arches are present both on tombs of Newgrange, Tholos tombs and Dome of the Florence Cathedral. Furthermore, there exist geometrical proportions in musical style in all the buildings and monuments. For examples, arcades, colonnades, roundels as well as Corinthian (Nora & Claudio, 1989). All these architectural buildings are artworks such as painting and photographs on the walls that express the cultures of the different peoples who live in the vicinity.


Feller, et al., (2015). Case studies of soil in art. Soil Journal. 1 (10). P.543-559.

Jukka, J. (1986). A history of architectural conservation. England: Institute of Advanced Architecture.

Nora, H., & Claudio, R. (1989). The Apollo Project of the Golden Renaissance. England: Dover Publications.

Yari, et al. (2016). The stability of dome structures in the Iranian traditional architecture, case study: Dome of Taj-al-Monk. Journal of Architectural Engineering technology. 5(2); p. 2-7.

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