I just love art! All four of my children love to sit and draw; we have a little pottery wheel they enjoy using. Our house is full of chalk pastels, watercolor pencils and other materials that can be used to have fun and create! While they are enjoying this, I had the opportunity to enjoy an amazing art history curriculum , from a Christian perspective, The Master and His Apprentices: Art History From a Christian Perspective. This is designed for high school level students (they can receive a full credit for this course too); this is a thorough study of Creation and ancient cultures through renaissance and modern times. With over 600 images in full color, this is a wonderful and family friendly way to explore and grow an appreciation for art from both a historical and biblical perspective. For this review we received both the teacher’s guide and textbook for download. This does offer a per-child license (very affordable) but for this review we were allowed to use the program with all children in our household.
I love how this starts out at the very beginning, in Genesis; there is also a timeline for each section of study that covers: Important World Events, Ancient Roman Art and Biblical Events/Christian History. There is also a really neat section where you can see all the pieces by location. I actually had to check this out right away. Was I ever surprised to find that there is even a piece of art here in Wisconsin! Since we are not too far from Madison, I do believe we will need to make a trip there sometime in the near future. It was also quite interesting to find that there are also a couple pieces in two Chicago museums. Again, we are not that far from Chicago – this gives me a bit more motivation to explore these areas. It is always really neat to see some things like this, in our own backyard I think!
Within the first pages alone we must stop to ponder: what does the word art mean to you? Do we enjoy viewing it? Are we an artist? What is our favorite type of art?
We are reminded that God is THE Master artist and well Leonardo did paint the Mona Lisa he did not create the woman who sat before him – the Creator did that. Where would we be without God’s creation?
Every chapter within this textbook is arranged in chronological order and by geographical location. Throughout the chapters we are many times pointed to various scriptures help us to see and understand more deeply. I always love seeing scripture connect with things of this sort. I don’t know about you, but looking at a work of art or listening to an amazing piece of music by Beethoven, I don’t always take the time to see God in it. And certainly things are so much more valuable when we see God in them.
Within the teacher’s guide are discussion questions, worksheets, exams and many other great resources. They provide a standard one year plan which includes one hour of instruction per week. They also include a sample syllabus, especially helpful for a student who is looking to receive credit for this course.
All four of my children absolutely love art! My oldest son especially really enjoys all the different forms and it’s quite talented if I may say so myself. However since he has been a rather reluctant learner as of light I did not want to force anything else on him. I had a feeling that if I worked through this class myself there would be times he would come alongside me. And so well I mostly completed this class so where time that he accompanied me on this little journey.
I wanted to share some examples of the worksheets because while I did not use them myself, please excellent questions for any true student to be able to answer. There were definitely times where I used this little discussion with my oldest son when he would be sitting beside me. It is definitely a much more enjoyable experience, studying together, sharing thoughts and preferences even; discussions about the value of and vision of the artists throughout the ages and in different locations.
I love the scripture that is woven into every lesson; beginning with a lesson on the properties of light, air and water. We learn about water and land and vegetation; we see art within the diversity of plants. I don’t think I ever thought of that as a form of art before.
We then move on to a study of the ancient near East. While it is often referred to as the prehistoric period, we see how, in reality, this is the time following the flood. I love how there are bits and pieces of geography and archaeology woven into this course.
Here we here we learned about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. From Noah’s Ark to the Law Code of Hammurabi; we explore mosaics and seals and even Solomon’s Temple. There is so much more to explore too, but I don’t want to spoil anything for you.
This also this also covers classical antiquity; think of the early Greeks, Roman, Etruscans. We explore the Middle Ages, the Baroque and the Renaissance both early and high.
There are just so many good things about this course. I really I’m hoping that as my son gets older he will become more interested in completing this for himself. I do believe there’s so much more that we can learn and a greater appreciation we can truly have when we see the hand of God in all that we are studying.