Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Representing the Body
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay  2500 word essay  100%
Supplementary Assessment None  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of the key concepts in art history as relating to the representation of the body from the Renaissance to the present.

Evidence a basic knowledge of contemporary theoretical approaches to the study of representations of the body in the visual arts.

Evidence a basic knowledge of historical movements, styles and issues in art history in the representation of the body from the Renaissance to the present.

Construct, in writing, an argument defending a position in relation to a key topic raised in the module.


This is a level one module to be offered to SH and JH Fine Art and Art History students. It replaces material previously offered in Semester 2 in AH10220 'Special Topics in Art History and Visual Culture' which was a 20-credit thin module. By redesigning the material offered, and expanding themes, the new module will offer greater choice and variety to first year students in both the Fine Art and Art History degree schemes.

Brief description

This module provides the student with an overview of key themes in the representation of the human body from the Renaissance to the present day. The representation of the body is ubiquitous in Western art and the module will offer theoretical and historical contexts for understanding representational modes and artistic choices and approaches. It aims to introduce the student to the contexts for the ways in which the corporeal is viewed in Western art and the wide variety of media used in the representational process - painting, printmaking, sculpture and photography. The lectures are arranged in a loosely chronological order with reference to styles and artistic movements although the emphasis is upon surveying attitudes to the body, to race, sexuality, gender and difference.


Typically, the lecture course will survey the following themes:

  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. Official Bodies: The Academy and Anatomy
  3. Venus and her Daughters: Ideal Bodies
  4. Dead Bodies: Photography and Representations of Death
  5. Representing the 'Oriental' Body
  6. Alternative Bodies: Picasso to Louise Bourgeois
  7. Anxious Bodies
  8. British Bodies
  9. Representing Gender
  10. Representing Difference

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number
Communication Academic writing.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will have the chance to reflect on their learning and performance through essay feedback.
Information Technology Word processing, dealing with digital images, and use of Blackboard and other e-learning interfaces.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving
Research skills The essay requires the student to effectively carry out research using the Hugh Owen Library and the National Library of Wales as well as appropriate websites and databases, particularly for picture research.
Subject Specific Skills Visual analysis, textual analysis and visual research.
Team work


This module is at CQFW Level 4