WHEELING - The Ohio County Public Library is offering a free, three-part series on art history and appreciation through the People's University program, beginning Feb. 12.
The classes will meet at 7 p.m. on successive Tuesday evening and will cover major periods of art and architecture from Romanesque through cubism.
"Art history offers us a visual record of our human history," said Ellen Culler, Ohio County Schools art teacher and series instructor. "The purpose of this art history beginner's class is to touch on the highlights of the different eras of history through art exploration."
Those attending will explore art and architecture through a variety of periods of history.
The series will begin with the Romanesque Period, from 1000 to 1150, which reflected the Roman influence in the building of churches. This was a period that saw the invention of the "barrel vault," allowing churches to become cathedrals. Sculptures became an integral part of architecture during this time and carvings were elongated.
The Gothic Period, from 1140 to 1400, featured the "gothic" arch, which allowed cathedrals to soar to great heights and the new technology of stained glass adorned the buildings. Much of the art work was based on Christian religion.
The Golden Age of Florence was termed the Renaissance, from 1400 to 1520. The artists of this time took many of the principles developed by the Greeks and their "classic" style. It was the age of Humanism.
From 1590 to 1750, the Baroque period developed as a reaction to Renaissance art. It was meant to appeal to the viewer's emotions.
Rococo Art, from 1700 to 1800, refers to the decorative arts in the time of Louis XV of France. Designs were of nature reflecting plants, shells, and flowers. Many people view this period as a "visual gluttony," referring to the excessive use of ornament in the decorative arts.
The series also will cover Romanticism, Realism, Impressionism, Art Nouveau, Post Impressionism, Expressionism and Cubism. To make a reservation, call (304) 232-0244.