Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen
Koninklijke Academie van Antwerpen
Theories of art before 150034280/3027/2324/1/80
Study guide

Theories of art before 1500

Academic year 2023-24
Is found in:
  • Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts, programme stage 1
  • Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts
This is a single course unit.
Study load: 3 credits
Special admission is required to enrol in this course unit under
  • exam contract (to obtain a credit).
  • exam contract (to obtain a degree).
Co-ordinator: Crombez Thomas
Languages: Dutch, English
Scheduled for: Semester 1
This course unit is marked out of 20 (rounded to an integer).
Possible deadlines for learning account: 31.10.2023 ()
Re-sit exam: is possible.
Possibility of deliberation: This course unit is eligible for deliberation according to the criteria as determined by the degree programme you are enrolled in.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

Prerequisite competencies (text)

The student is able to analyze theoretical texts about art independently. S/he is able to reflect on a given philosophical problem (formulated in an abstract manner).

The student has a basic knowledge of Western cultural history, which will form the background against which historical developments in arts, aesthetics, and philosophy are discussed during this course.

The student is sensitive to the philosophical problems surrounding the work of art and the social role of art.

Learning outcomes (list)

BA3 - The student knows about and understands the social, cultural, artistic, historical and international context of the visual arts and artistic praxis, and continues to develop this knowledge and understanding.
The student has developed a historical sensitivity to the changing aesthetic ideas in the course of (art) history.
The student has acquired insight into the development of Western philosophy up to and including the Middle Ages.
The student can link the main (historical) art-philosophical and theoretical positions to important developments in the history of philosophy.
The student can fathom for himself a philosophical tekst and follow a philosophical argument and (re)construct one himself.
The student can orient himself in the history of philosophy up to and including the Middle Ages (philosophers, concepts, movements).
The student knows the main (historical) art-philosophical and theoretical positions during Antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Course content

Three questions are central to this course:

  1. What is beauty?
  2. What are the characteristics of a work of art? What is the structure of a work of art? (aesthetics of form)
  3. What happens between a work of art and a spectator? How does the work of art affect the spectator? (aesthetics of effect)

From this point of view, the course surveys the history of western philosophy, discussing the main currents from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

Study material (text): Mandatory

  • Textbook (to be bought by students):
    • DUTCH VERSION: Thomas Crombez, De moord op de kunst (Borgerhout: Letterwerk, 2016), ISBN 9789082571202
    • ENGLISH VERSION: Thomas Crombez, The murder of art (Borgerhout: Letterwerk, 2017), ISBN 9789082571219
  • Slides shown during class will be made available at the end of the semester through the online learning platform
  • When needed, extra learning materials are made available during the class (as hand-outs)

Educational organisation (list)

Learning Activities
Lectures and / or tutorials

Evaluation (list)

Evaluation(s) for first exam chance
Eerste examenperiodeKnowledge and comprehension test during the examination series100,00Oral and written examination

Evaluation (text)

Students are expected to be present during classes. Absences can have a negative impact on your study results.