6 Best Art History Classes and Courses Online

There’s more to art than just a pretty picture. Learn all about the history of different time periods and movements with these great online art history courses.

Students of art history can expand their knowledge of the field with online courses. This list includes a selection of the best art history courses accessible online.
If you have a specialization or interest in a particular era, movement, or style, you’ll find courses that focus on those topics. You’ll also find courses that cover a variety of topics, and you can decide which ones suit you best.

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Art History Renaissance to 20th CenturyModern Art & IdeasEuropean Paintings: From Leonardo to Rembrandt to Goya
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What is the best Art History course for you?

1. Art History Renaissance to 20th Century

Art history is a great way to learn about the history of art and the artists who created it. With this course, you’ll learn everything you need to know to become an expert on art history. This course will walk you through the major periods of Art History, from Medieval Art History to 20th Century Art History. You’ll learn all about the artists, their work, and where they fit into Art History.

This video course is taught by Kenney Mencher (Professor Kenney Mencher Art Educator).

Platform: Udemy
Duration: 47.5 Hours
Number of Students: 10,485 Students
Rating: 4.5 (1,362 Ratings)
Lessons: 143 Lectures

2. Modern Art & Ideas

A course to teach you about Art History, the world’s history of art, and how art relates to politics, culture, and society. The course covers the evolution of art from cave paintings to modern day, as well as some of the most famous works in history.

This video course was created by Lisa Mazzola (Assistant Director, School and Teacher Programs).

Platform: Coursera
Duration: 22 Hours 14 Minutes
Number of Students: 32000
Rating: 4.8 Stars
Institution: The Museum of Modern Art

3. European Paintings: From Leonardo to Rembrandt to Goya

Learn the history of European painting from the time of Leonardo Da Vinci to Goya. This course will teach you the basic techniques used by artists from 500 years ago to make such masterpieces as The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci, Raising of Lazarus by Caravaggio, and Girl with a Pearl Earring by Vermeer.

The video class was created by Alejandro Vergara (Senior Curator of Flemish and Northern European Paintings).

Platform: edX
Duration: 7 Weeks
Number of Students: 65,129
Institution: UC3Mx

4. ART101:: Prehistoric Art

Art history is an important part of all students education. In this course you will learn the basics of art history from prehistoric art to modern art. You will also learn how to define key terms and notations used in the study of art history.

This online class was created by Cookie Redding (Artist, Designer, Teacher).

Platform: Skillshare
Duration: 17 Minutes
Number of Students: 195
Number of Reviews: 11
Lessons: 6

5. Design Bites: The Bauhaus Movement

Practical tips and tricks to help you understand the Bauhaus movement, and why it’s important. You’ll learn about the origins of the movement, how it influenced architecture, furniture design, graphics and other areas of art. You’ll also learn about current work being done in these fields by modern artists.

The online class was created by Meira Gottlieb (Arts Educator & Creative).

Platform: Skillshare
Duration: 34 Minutes
Number of Students: 969
Number of Reviews: 29
Lessons: 11

6. Orientalism in European Art History – Exotic Imagery in French Painting

Orientalism in European Art History is a course designed to give students an overview of the development of Orientalism in Western art. Students will learn about the origins of Orientalist painting, its place in Western art history, and how this has influenced contemporary artists. The course introduces students to key works and artists of Orientalism, such as Corot, Delacroix, Monet, Munch, Cézanne and Matisse.

This lecture series is taught by Karima Knickmeyer M.A. (the stories of art).

Platform: Skillshare
Duration: 1 Hour 3 Minutes
Number of Students: 97
Number of Reviews: 4
Lessons: 7

Frequently Asked Questions About Art History

Why is Art History relevant?

From the cave paintings of Lascaux to the latest exhibit at the Louvre, art history is the study of the many different styles, movements, and artists in the visual arts. Art history dates back to the Renaissance, when the study of the history of art was just beginning. Art history is considered to be a social science, and it combines the study of art with the study of history, which makes it a unique field of study. Art history is not only about understanding the visual arts, it’s also about understanding the social context in which they were created.

Is Art History difficult to learn?

Art history is a vast and complex subject, but thanks to the wealth of resources available online, it is easier than ever to learn. Art history courses are often taught at the college level, but there are plenty of online resources for anyone interested in the subject.

What are the benefits of learning Art History?

The main reason it’s worth learning about art history is because you’ll learn about different cultures and eras, including what was important to them, what they were trying to convey through their art, and how they were able to convey it. This can be incredibly useful when traveling and interacting with people from different cultures.

What do I need to get started with Art History?

There are several ways to study art history. You can take a college course, join a museum or art club, attend art fairs and exhibits, and read books, magazines and online articles.

For artists, art historians are the people who make sense of the world and help us better understand the past. Art history is a vast field that covers all media and all periods of art history. A general art history course will cover the development of painting, sculpture and architecture in Europe, with an emphasis on the quality and aesthetics of works rather than the social context or the artist’s biography.