Course Description

Course Name

The Making of Art: History of Art Material

Session: VRMF3123

Hours & Credits

3 Credits

Prerequisites & Language Level

One 100-level Fine Art class (e.g. Introduction to Drawing)

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


This course introduces students to the history of artistic media. The course focuses especially on the history of painting, sculpture, prints, and drawings as media. During the course, students will be introduced to how to identify artistic materials in various historical techniques, as well as the composition and origins of materials. To provide historical perspective on the use of artistic media, attention will be given to the following topics: economic and symbolic reasons for the use of materials, the advent of oil painting in the history of Western art, the advent of modern materials and techniques starting at the end of the 19th century, and the history and debates surrounding restoration/conservation of historic media (e.g. restoration of ancient sculpture in the Baroque period; conservation of Renaissance fresco in the Sistine Chapel in the 20th century). Classes are taught both on-site in museums and churches in Rome and in the classroom. Artistic media covered during course include, but are not limited to: ancient wall painting, fresco, tempera, gold ground, oil, watercolor, acrylic painting; bronze, stone, terra-cotta, and wood sculpture with various patinas; and engraving, etchings, woodcuts, digital prints; charcoal, pencil, pen and ink.

*Course content subject to change