Art in Eighteenth Century Britain HISTART4070

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores developments in the visual arts in Britain over the course of the long eighteenth century. It will examine work in a variety of media, and across various genres, locating the growing interest in the visual arts during the period in relation to a range of aesthetic, cultural, political, social and religious contexts.


20x1hr lectures; 20x1hr seminars over both semesters as scheduled in MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Successful completion of Junior Honours History of Art and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other honours programmes.

Excluded Courses





Two x 3,000 word Essays - 15% each

Seminar presentation of 15 minutes - 10%

Examination (3-hour duration) - 60%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course will provide the opportunity to:

■ develop an understanding of the visual arts in Britain over the course of the eighteenth century

■ analyse the visual art of the period in relation to the very particular cultural, political and social debates and issues of the period

■ critically consider what it means to discuss the art of this period as 'British'

■ assess elements of continuity and change in the art of the period, in particular with regard to the dramatic expansion of the art world during the second half of the eighteenth century

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

• discuss the main lines of development in British art of the long eighteenth century

• characterize the distinctive forms of art in Britain relation to Continental artistic traditions

• assess specific works by leading artists working in Britain during the period and reflect on their art   historical significance.

• analyse the development of a distinctive visual tradition in relation to the unique physical and cultural environment in which it developed

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.