Spanish Art and Architecture

ISA Seville Study Center

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Spanish Art and Architecture

  • Host University

    ISA Seville Study Center

  • Location

    Seville, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Architecture, Art History

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Contact Hours

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    USF Course Code: ARH 4930

    Prerequisite: open to all language levels; taught in English.

    Students: ISA students

    Contact hours: 45 

    I. Course Description: 
    A survey course, this class provides students with an understanding of the evolution of art and architecture within Spain (the Peninsula) throughout the centuries, in relation to both the development of Western Art overall, and the particular socio-cultural and historical realities in which the studied creative manifestations are created. The artistic contributions of early civilizations to Spanish art and architecture shall be considered, along with that of internationally reputed artists and architects such as Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, Dalí, Gaudí, and Calatrava. Site visits throughout Seville will allow students to further explore the relationship between art/architecture and Sevillian history and culture. 

    II. Learning Outcomes:

    • Gain an understanding of the evolution of the concept of art throughout Western civilization and the complexity of "defining art"
    • Learn to identify and analyze art
    • Gain an appreciation of Spanish artistic and architectonic expression within its socio-cultural and historical contexts
    • Enrich students´ understanding of Sevillian culture and history through its art (paintings) and architecture 

    III. Course Content (order of content may be modified):


    0. Introductory Unit
        - The concept of Art throughout history
        - Understanding Art 
    1.  Roman Spain
    - Construction techniques and decorative elements in Roman Urbanism. 
        - Sculpture: full statues, portraits and reliefs. 
        - Mosaics
        - Site visit:  Archaeological Museum (Roman mosaics and sculpture) 
    2.  Spanish-Muslim Art
        - When the senses are twisted 
        - Islamic Spain 
    3.   Middle Ages Art
        - Romanesque Art
        - Gothic Art
        - Mudéjar Art
    4.  Renaissance in Spain
        - Architecture
        - Painting 
    5.  The Golden Age
    - Concept and meaning of Baroque.  
        - Diego Velázquez 
        - Bartolomé Estebán Murillo
        - Juan de Valdéz Leal
        - Francisco de Zurbarán
        - Site visit:  Museum of Fine Arts
    6.  Anticipating the trends of modern art
        - Francisco de Goya
    7.  20th Century Art
        - Antoni Gaudí    
    - Cubism: Picasso and Juan Gris
        - Surrealism: Dalí, Joan Miró, Remedios Varo
        - Regionalism: Aníbal González 
        - Santiago Calatrava


    8. Art and arquitecture for civil purposes. 
    - Fábrica de Tabaco
        - Plaza de España 
    9. Seville from Baroque to the 21st Century
        - A new symbol for the town? Metropol Parasol


    10. Other artistic manifestations 
    --Photography. Ouka Leele: beyond the Movida Madrileña

    IV. Bibliography:  
    In addition to current magazine and newspaper articles, students will be provided with selections from various texts including but not limited to:

    Acton, Mary. Learning to look at modern art. London:  Routledge, 2004. 
    Barasch, Moshe.  Theories of Art. From Plato to Winckelemann.  New York & London: New York University     Press, 1995. 
    Berger, John.  Ways of Seeing.  New York: Penguin Books, 1977.
    Brend, Barbara. Islamic Art.  London: British Museum Press, 1991. 
    Brown, Jonathan.  Painting in Spain, 1500-1700.  Yale:  Yale University Press, 1998. 
    Hirsch, Edward.  The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration.  Orlando,     Florida: Harcourt Books, 2002.
    Mann, Vivian B., et al. eds.  Convivencia: Jews, Muslims, and Christians in Medieval Spain.  New York:     The     Jewish Museum, 1992.
    Moffitt, John.  The Arts in Spain.  London: Thames and Hudson, 1999.
    Nash, Elizabeth.  Seville, Córdoba and Granada.  Oxford: Signal Books, 2005.

    V.I. How to succeed in this course:
    Class sessions in this course take on a theoretical-practical character, combining theoretical explanations of syllabus content with a practical approach inside the classroom and also through the field trips. In order to benefit from this, it’s required to read the material in advance. 
    Become and active learner. This course requires interaction with the classmates and with the professor, please ask questions in class. Since you will have read ahead, you will have questions ready, and more will come to mind during the lecture. Both interaction and reading the material in advance will be taken into consideration in the final grade. 
    This subjects requires learning, remembering and relating many concepts, therefore keeping the tasks up-to-date is also key to assimilating the contents.  

    VI. Grading scale

    La calificación final del curso utilizará la siguiente escala/ Final grades will be calculated according to the following scale:
    94 - 100 A
    90-93 A -
    87 -89 B +
    84 - 86 B
    80 - 83 B -
    77 - 79 C+
    74 - 76 C 
    70 - 73 C-
    67 -69 D+
    64 -66 D
    60 -63 D-
    0-59 F

    VII. Course policies

    VII.I. Attendance
    Class attendance is mandatory and is taken every class day and reflected in the course attendance sheet. 
    An 85% attendance rate is required for the successful completion of the course. Perfect attendance will be taken positively into account in the participation section. 
    If a student exceeds this limit, 1 point will be taken off of the final grade (Spanish grade). Reaching a 20% of unexcused absences means that the transcript for this subject will show “not attended course”. 
    Excused absences: Medical Certificates that will be considered only if issued by a physician (not notes from the family explaining the student’s absence). The certificates must include the exact dates for which a student should be excused for having missed classes. Courses cannot be audited, so attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class. 
    Punctuality: Students are expected to arrive on time to class and to return directly to class after class breaks. Arriving 10 minutes late (or more) and/or early class departures are considered unexcused absences and will be taken into account as half an absence. 
    Attending class is not only the presence in the classroom. The professor will encourage active participation in the course and it will be taken into account as part of the evaluation.  

    Auditors: Courses cannot be taken as auditors, thus attendance is possible only for students enrolled in a specific class.

    VII.II. Conduct in class
    Students who actively participate in classroom activities and who maintain a professional and respectful attitude will be evaluated positively. Students must not eat or use laptops during the class (unless specifically authorized by the teacher).  

    VII.III. Late work 
    One half point will be taken off (from the learning activities grade) for homework that is submitted late repeatedly. Late assignments will be corrected but will not be graded. 
    Missing a class does not release the student from completing the homework assigned or studying the topics covered in class that day.

    VII.IV. Make-up Exams
    If a student cannot be present for an examination for a valid reason (see V.II.) and approved by the professor and academic direction, a make-up exam will be given.

    VII.V. Exam retention
    After exams are graded, the teacher will review the examination with the class and collect all exams. The exams will be retained for one semester following the current one, and then they will be destroyed.

    VII.VI. Academic Honesty
    Students are expected to act in accordance with their university standards of conduct concerning plagiarism and academic dishonesty.

    VII.VII. Special accommodations 
    Students with special needs who require reasonable accommodations, special assistance or specific aid in this course (either for properly making-up classes, taking exams, etc.) should direct their request to Academic Coordination during the first days of the course.

    Teaching staff is required to report any disclosures harassment or violence of any kind.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations


This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some are essential to make our site work; others help us improve the user experience. By using the site, you consent to the placement of these cookies.

Read our Privacy Policy to learn more.