Methodologies in Art History Interactive

Course Synopsis

This course will provide students who are interested in art and art history with an exciting initiation to this topic. As well exploring the works of many of history’s most celebrated artists, this course also examines the discipline of Art History itself by tracing its roots back to the very earliest pieces of critical writing.

It will focus on some particular moments in the formation of the academic discipline of art history, and will consider what bearing those methodologies have on our own thinking in the 21st century. If you’re considering Art History, History, or English literature at university, it will also help to show interviewers and admissions tutors that you have a serious and sophisticated engagement with your subject. The case studies of art historians and movements in the field of art history will provide excellent discussion material.


What’s Included?





Personal Profile

Interactive Tutorials

Quizzes and Exams


Why Take This Course?

This course is ideal preparation for students thinking of fine art, art history, or other art subjects at university. It provides an insight into the discipline of art history and the works of the founders of the discipline.

Aims and Objectives

  • To gain an understanding of the roots of the discipline of Art History
  • To examine the major movements of Art History over the centuries
  • To gain an insight into the methodologies employed by art historians

Key Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Talk confidently about major figures in the history of Art History
  • Understand the different perspectives from which one can critically analyse a work of art
  • Employ the techniques learned to conduct one's own criticism of art


All courses include the following Interactive Tutorial series

Tutorial 1

The Fathers of Art History

1-1.5 hrs

Giorgio Vasari and Johann Joachim Winckelmann are considered the founding fathers of Art History. This tutorial will consider their respective methodologies and approaches to art to demonstrate the great influence that these two critics had on the entire discipline of Art History.

Tutorial 2


1-1.5 hrs

This tutorial will firstly define and explore formalist approaches to art criticism. It will then take a look at two key movements in Formalism and their main exponents before considering whether it can provide an adequate approach to art.

Tutorial 3

A Social History of Art

1-1.5 hrs

The school of thought that lies in opposition to formalism is that of history or historicism and the social history of art. Marxist thought had a notable influence on the social history of art so this tutorial will chart this development over the years, before ending with a discussion of the key figures in the formation of the more recent school: the New History of Art.

Tutorial 4

Museums and Visual Historiography

1-1.5 hrs

How we view and interpret art is governed by many factors and the contexts in which we view them. It is often surprising how things extraneous to the artwork itself can influence how we perceive it. This is particularly true in relation to museums. This tutorial will therefore consider how biases and prejudices in relation to the presentation of art can be problematic.

What’s Included?

All courses contain the following elements:

Interactive Tutorials
Online Quizzes
Access to the discussion forum
Access to all course resources
Certificate of completion

Key Details

Course Pre-Requisites Fluent/Advanced Level of English
Passion and interest for art and art history
Course Level For students applying/thinking of applying to university for art subjects
This course is a taster course, designed to introduce you to the subject of Art History, its historiography, and its methodologies
Fees £29.99
Workload 4-6 hours

Enrolment Options

Choose one of the following options to take your course:

Single Licence


Enrol on this course
Access to interactive course content
Discussion boards, exams, resources
Personal learning profile
Course certificate

Enrol Now

Membership 1


3-Month Membership
Access to all courses
Discussion boards, exams, resources
Personal learning profile
Course certificates

Enrol Now

Membership 2


6-Month Membership
Access to all courses
Discussion boards, exams, resources
Personal learning profile
Course certificates

Enrol Now
One of the best e-learning courses on the subject currently available. Would definitely recommend to others (Cultural Anthropology)

Laura, UK
It was a very useful and relevant experience that helped me review some contents, complementing my understanding of the subject. Overall, a very good, lively and complete extra-curricular activity which I wholeheartedly recommend. (An Introduction to Philosophy)

Martinez, Spain
Awesome! Just like all the other courses it was full of great ideas and aspects elaborated on in great detail on. Truly an educational experience. (Business and Management)

Kyle, Israel
This course is great, fast paced, interesting and very entertaining. It gives a great overview of philosophy, and concise introduction to the main themes, but also leaves space for personal reflection and research which is always welcome! (Ethics: An Overview)

Louise, France
This course had a lot of interesting information on a very wide range of topics based on US history. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a basic overview of issues in 20th-century America. (20th-century American History)

Chalint (Greece)
The "Introduction to Law" course I took was excellent - I would recommend it to anyone wishing to apply to law school, or that is generally interested in the topic. Having completed the course, it leaves me wanting to study more of ORA's Law courses! (Introduction to Law)

Amelia (UK)
Victorian Classicism was an excellent course, which will be enjoyed by those interested in art history, greek mythology and British history as well as those with a great curiosity for traditions, morals and ethics during the 19th century. (Victorian Classicism)

Anne-Ly (Singapore)
After being out of high school and university for almost 10 years, the ORA Prep courses certainly helped in encouraging me to get back into uni as a mature student of Art History. I can hardly wait for the next academic challenge and I dearly hope anyone considering re-entering or visiting university for the first time comes across ORA Prep courses to build up their courage, too! Thank you, ORA! (Methodologies in Art History)

Anne-Ly (Singapore)
I'm very glad I discovered ORA Prep - it offers very interesting insights into the most varied subjects. I'm planning to enrol on other courses as well. I highly recommend it to anyone! (Ethics: An Overview)

Christina (Portugal)
It is an enjoyable course that gives a good introduction to ancient Greek architecture. Now I look to these amazing sites with a deeper understanding of their history. It encourages me to study these structures further! (Ancient Greek Architecture)

Zeina (Jordan)

Need more information about this course?