Saint Jerome in His Study by Matthias Stomer (1633-1639)
All photos courtesy of Ball State University Museum of Art.

Ball State University Museum of Art Audio Tour


Before the fall of Rome till the time of the Renaissance, the primary role of Western art was to serve the Church. Images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints praised God and reinforced Church doctrine, as well as inspired the faithful. Sometime during the late Middle Ages, a shift occurred. Religious figures still featured prominently in painting and sculpture, but more attention was given to their physical qualities. Limbs became more rounded and features more naturalistic. Instead of indeterminate celestial settings, earthly scenes became part of the background. As Western culture became ever more secular during the years between the Renaissance and the late 18th century, the purpose of art, as well as its appearance, changed.

Experience the progression in this audio tour of medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo art housed in Ball State’s Museum of Art. Select from the menu to the left and download the audio files onto an iPod, MP3 player, or laptop, and then view the paintings in the Museum of Art as you listen to the audio selections. (This audio tour features art work from the upper level of the Museum of Art. See the menu to the left for museum floor plans.)