History of Art MA

Journeys in the Netherworld: Representations of the Ten Kings of Hell in Imperial China HISTART4072

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course will give students an opportunity to discover and acquire a deeper understanding of the arts produced for use in the religious rituals in preparation for afterlife with a particular focus on The Ten Kings of Hell theme in Imperial China. The course will seek to place religious Chinese art within the context of key aesthetic, economic, political, social and technological developments. The course will cover 5th century to the 19th century AD (Late Six Dynasties period to the end of Qing dynasty).


10 x 1 hr lectures; 8 x 1 hr seminars and 2 hr museum visit (St Mungo Museum of Religious Art, Glasgow), as scheduled on MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in History of Art and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Excluded Courses





Visual test (40 minutes duration) - 10%

Essay (2,000 words) - 30%

Examination (2-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 students' knowledge and understanding of the functions of religious art in Imperial China

■ trace the history of the production of art works related to afterlife in this period through key aesthetic, economic, political, social and technological developments

■ encourage students to engage with current approaches to the study of Chinese religious art, particularly from the point of view of material and visual culture

■ expand students' analytical thinking and writing

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ apply multi-disciplinary skills and ideas to the study of Chinese religious art

■ identify and indicate stylistic and iconographical changes among works of art created in different social contexts

■ cross reference different types of evidence, both written and visual, in the analysis of Chinese religious art

■ present an interpretive argument with close reference to visual evidence

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.