A -
A +

One of the core courses that every BVA student has to study is Art History. Art History is usually taught in different modules or semesters, covering different periods and regions of Art History, such as ancient art, mediaeval art, Renaissance art, modern art, Indian art, etc. But why is Art History important for a  BVA course curriculum?

And how does it benefit the students who want to pursue a career in the creative fields? In this blog, we will explore some of the reasons why Art History is an essential component of a BVA course curriculum, as we dive into what the Bachelor of Visual Arts degree entails.

What is a BVA Course?

A BVA course is a four-year undergraduate degree program that offers specialized training in various disciplines of visual arts, such as painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, animation, filmmaking, etc. This course at Anant National University aims to develop the artistic skills, knowledge and creativity of the students, as well as prepare them for the professional opportunities and challenges that they’ll face in the visual arts industry.

A BVA course typically consists of two parts: core courses and elective courses. The core courses include mandatory subjects that cover the fundamental aspects of visual arts, such as drawing, colour theory, composition, perspective, etc. Elective courses, on the other hand, consist of optional Bachelor of Visual Arts subjects that allow the students to choose their area of interest and specialisation.

For more BVA course details, check out the table below.

Course Name Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA)
Level Undergraduate
Duration 4 years
Mode of Examination Semester System
Eligibility Criteria 10+2 passed with a minimum of 50% marks
Admission Process Design Aptitude Test
Specialisations Painting, Sculpture, and Multimedia

Why is Art History Important for a BVA Course Curriculum?

Art History is the study of the visual arts in different cultures, periods or contexts. It helps us to understand how art reflects and shapes human experiences, values and identities and appreciates the diversity and richness of artistic expressions across time and space.

The reason why Art History is an integral subject not only for a BVA but also for similar creative courses like a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts is because it is more than just a collection of facts and dates about artworks and artists. Rather, Art History reflects a way of thinking critically and creatively about art and its relation to society, culture and history. Art History can enrich the learning experience and outcomes of a student pursuing a BVA degree in many ways.

Here are some of the reasons Art History is one of the main BVA course subjects:

  • Art History can enrich the artistic practice of students by exposing them to a wide range of artistic expressions, techniques, and influences from different times and places. Students can learn from the achievements and challenges of past and present artists and develop their own style and voice.
  • Art History can enhance the critical thinking and communication skills of students by teaching them how to interpret, evaluate, and articulate their opinions about artworks and their contexts. Students also learn how to conduct research, cite sources, and write academic papers on art-related topics.
  • Art History can broaden the cultural awareness and appreciation of students by familiarizing them with the diversity and complexity of human cultures and histories as represented by art. Students also learn how to respect and value different perspectives and experiences that shape artistic production and reception.
  • Art History can open up new opportunities and possibilities for students who want to pursue higher studies or careers in visual arts or related fields. Students gain a solid foundation and background in Art History that can help them prepare for entrance exams or interviews for postgraduate programs or jobs. They can also explore various options for specialisation or interdisciplinary studies that involve Art History.

Also Read: The Best Ways to Prepare for a Career in the Visual Arts

What are the Challenges of Studying Art History in a BVA Course?

Studying Art History in a BVA course can also pose some of the following challenges for students who may not be familiar or comfortable with the subject:

  • Art History can be overwhelming and intimidating for students who have to deal with a large amount of information and terminology that spans across different eras, regions, cultures, genres, etc.
  • Art History can be boring and irrelevant for students who are more interested in creating than studying art.
  • Art History can be biased and problematic for students who are aware of the issues of representation and inclusion in Art History.

How to Overcome the Challenges of Studying Art History in a BVA Course?

Despite the challenges that studying Art History in a BVA course may entail, there are some ways that students can overcome them and make the most out of their learning experience:

  • Art History can be made more manageable and enjoyable for students by using various strategies and resources that can help them organise, understand, and remember the information and terminology that they encounter in Art History. Some examples of these strategies and resources are making notes, flashcards, timelines, mind maps, etc.
  • Art History can be made more relevant and meaningful for students by connecting it to their own artistic practice and interests.
  • Art History can be made more inclusive and respectful for students by acknowledging and addressing the issues of representation and inclusion in Art History. Students can critically examine the sources and perspectives that they encounter in Art History and question their assumptions, biases, or gaps. They can also seek out alternative or marginalised voices or narratives that challenge or complement the dominant ones in Art History and learn from them.

Also Read: The Future of Visual Art: Trends and Predictions


Art History is an important and relevant subject for students pursuing a BVA course in India. It can offer many benefits for their artistic practice, critical thinking, communication skills, cultural awareness, and career prospects. It can also pose some challenges to their learning experience, such as being overwhelming, boring, or biased. However, these challenges can be overcome by using various strategies and resources, connecting Art History to their own interests and practice, and acknowledging and addressing the issues of representation and inclusion in Art History.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the importance of Art History?
    The importance of Art History lies in the fact that it spans a long period of time across the globe and brings out the main movements, traditions and cultures in human expression. By studying these things and contemplating them, there is a lot to learn.
  2. What is the most important aspect of Art History?
    The most important aspect of Art History is perhaps iconography – which deals with the analysis of the visual symbolism in works of art.
  3. What do you mean by history of visual arts?
    History of Visual Arts, another name for Art History, refers to the various expressions of art through visual mediums like painting, sculpture, architecture, etc, since the dawn of civilisation.
  4. What is BVA Applied Arts?
    BVA Applied Arts is an acronym for Bachelor of Visual Arts in Applied Arts. This is just another BVA course that focuses more on training the applied skills of students enrolled in the course.