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When my son was young we would read through encyclopedias of history…you know those huge books you can buy that make excellent coffee table books, or that are just fun to flip through to gain a brief vision of history? Reading a variety of these books gave us an excellent overview of historical record. The Master and His Apprentices produced a book called The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective is a book JUST LIKE THAT. Historical overviews are wonderful.
My Impression and Realization
I have to admit, when I first started reading through this tome I wasn’t wildly impressed as it wasn’t what we had expected. I THOUGHT I was going to get a book about the history of art. So I imagined seeing images of art from throughout history, divided into time zones. That’s not what this resource is, this book is a history book! I know, I’m strange, takes me a bit to clue in sometimes, but once I figured out that The Master and His Apprentices was not a book about the history of art, it’s a history book with a focus on art. It’s a history book that uses art as a focus, but in essence, it’s a history book and just like any other history book it has it’s own focus (seeing God in action throughout history) and it’s own way of dividing up historical periods. We LOVE history books… especially history encyclopedias. Seeing history from a different vantage point is awesome. I now can say I LIKE THIS BOOK! It’s history with a solid dash of art (no nudity for those concerned). You will discover well-researched chapters that will describe various aspects of culture such as architecture, sculptures, mosaics, paintings, frescos, and other such art forms for each era discussed.
Art History Book
The first two chapters are devoted to understanding that all of creation starts from a biblical perspective. God’s creativity is what inspires the creativity of people. Therefore author Gina Ferguson walks us through the days of creation and all that we have to be thankful for. The rest of the chapters are devoted to different time periods. Gina has taught bible, art and history throughout her life.
Chapter 3: Ancient Near East
Chapter 4: Egyptian
Chapter 5: Aegean
Chapter 6: Early Greek
Chapter 7: Etruscan
Chapter 8: Roman
Chapter 9: Early Christian and Byzantine
Chapter 10: Medieval and Islamic
Chapter 11: Romanesque
Chapter 12: Gothic
Chapter 13: Proto-Renaissance
Chapter 14: Early Italian Renaissance
Chapter 15: High Italian Renaissance
Chapter 16: Northern Renaissance
Chapter 17: Baroque
Chapter 18: Rococo to Today
Chapter 19: Global Highlights
Like all histories, authors choose what they will focus on, and author Gina Ferguson is no different. Up until the Baroque period the history is explained well, after that the history is lighter. It makes sense right? If you were to include all of history thoroughly this 380 page book would be very large indeed. Ergo one focuses where one chooses and leave the rest for another book. 🙂
One of the things that is great about history books is the ability to pick a time period that are you interested in. You can read it start to finish or do what we did. We each had different interests and ended up discussing them together.
Now this history book is like any other… it gives you a good grounding in it’s perspective. Art started with the creation of the World, and God directs art in all it’s form throughout history. With that perspective comes marvellous full colour images that show the breadth of God’s creative touch.
As you delve more into how civilization developed you actually start to see some of the artistic forms that developed, like this, a melding of worldview into artistic expression.
I liked that we had the ability to pick and choose what we wanted to learn about. Now if we were using this as a full curriculum (and gain a full credit for history) I’d be minded to work through it from start to finish, but that’s not my focus right now with my lad. It’s called dive in, see what interests you and learn something new. It’s good to keep learning eh?
Each chapter provides an overview of the culture and period, followed by a discussion of the artwork and architecture developed during that time period. As the history is discussed, the religious beliefs and cultural background are brought up, showing that religion and culture define one’s worldview and that is reflected in the art that is produced. A timeline is included so you can see how it all fits together. One of the things I loved was the focusing on specific artists. It was great to be able to focus in on one person
Our attention was focusing using the worksheets that helped us think through ideas. We didn’t actually print them off, we did what we always do, we talked and splattered our thoughts about with each other.
Just what do you get?
I received digital downloads of the textbook at 380 pages and the teacher’s guide at 116 pages. You could choose to print off the pages (which I was tempted to do so but somehow just haven’t done that). The PDF’s are sent print ready making it easy to print off if desired. This is a highschool level course that could be used for a full credit or as supplementary material for other studies. I also received a PDF called “Print and Use” outlining how to print off the textbook and workbook in the most user friendly fashion.
I like a good history book. Reading history from different perspectives deepens our understanding of it. This book portrays a good amount of art in it (no nudes or other objectionable art) and gives a good look at various artists. Faith plays a big role in this book, understanding worldview and how religion plays into how we perceive the world and therefore make depictions of it. If faith is something you care to avoid, this would not be the book for you. If understanding how worldview and faith affects how you view the world, then this history will broaden your understanding.
The Master and His Apprentices
The Master and His Apprentices: Art History from a Christian Perspective
For pricing information go here. Available as physical or digital copies.
Art, History, digital, High-school, Christian art, biblical art history
The teachers guide: contains instructions for using this curriculum in classroom or homeschool settings, an attendance chart and grade sheet, a course outline, glossary of art term, expectations of student in regards to exams and papers, questions and answers for worksheets and the exams, along with helpful tips and reminders.
The textbook can be used over and over but the teacher’s guide with the worksheets is considered a consumable product, to use with additional students extra copies are merely $2 each.
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