Visual Arts

“Every child is an artist. The challenge is to remain an artist after you grow up” – Pablo Picasso

The opportunity for creative expression at Maritzburg College encompasses Visual Arts, both within the curriculum and as part of our co-curricular programme. Encouraging imagination, creativity, conceptual thinking and personal expression in practical contexts, art serves to enrich the lives of the ever- growing group of boys at College who engage in the programme.

Maritzburg College is privileged to have a well-equipped Visual Arts Department, offerings boys the opportunity to explore a range of mediums, including drawing, painting, printmaking, welding and sculpture. For the boys who take Visual Arts as a Matric subject, their cultural horizons are widened through both theoretical study and the development of practical skills. Our teaching aims to stimulate curiosity, develop critical awareness and independent learning, and to allow scope for individually-tailored skills development. Our dedicated staff have created an exciting and challenging environment. Their teaching is geared towards developing a love of art in our boys which we hope lasts a lifetime.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

At Maritzburg College, we believe that art is both a form of communication and a means of expression. We have a host of boys who are enthusiastic about art, but do not take it as a Matric subject. For these boys, we have the recently established Art Club. This co-curricular programme affords the opportunity to pursue this passion while refining practical skills, as well as the development of the ability to communicate ideas and feelings through the medium of art.

“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse

Outline of the curriculum

In each form, the curriculum provides 8 themes of which 6 must be studied. In the final examination, five questions must be answered.

Form 4

  • Visual analysis and interpretation
  • African art
  • Non-western cultures from across the globe
  • Ancient civilisations
  • The classical world
  • Middle Ages / Islamic art
  • Renaissance
  • Baroque and Rococo

Form 5

  • Overview of the 19th Century
  • Start of Modernism
  • Early 20th Century
  • Architecture
  • Between the world wars
  • A survey of post-1945 art
  • New Media
  • The art world

Form 6

  • The voice of emerging artists
  • South African artists influenced by African and/or indigenous art
  • Socio-political art- including Resistance Art of the ‘70s and ‘80’s
  • Art, craft and spiritual works mainly from rural South Africa
  • Multimedia and new media- alternative contemporary and popular art forms in South Africa
  • Post-1994 democratic identity in South Africa
  • Gender Issues: masculinity and femininity
  • Architecture in South Africa


  • Paper 1: Visual Cultural Studies (Theory) 100 marks
  • Paper 2: Practical 100 marks

Forms Four and Five

Term Formal Assessment Tasks Tasks
1 1 (practical) 50 + 50 = 100
2 (theory) 50
Practical Assessment Task (PAT ) 1
Theory test
2 3 (practical) 50 + 50 = 100
4 (theory) 100
Practical Assessment Task (PAT ) 2
June Theory Examination
3 5 (practical) 50 + 50 = 100
6 (theory) 50
Practical Assessment Task (PAT ) 3
Theory test
4 7 (practical and theory)
50 + 50 = 100
Final Examination (internal):
Paper 1 Theory
Paper 2 Practical
Retrospective Exhibition

Form Six

Term Formal Assessment Tasks Tasks
1 1 (practical)
2 (theory)
Practical Assessment Task (PAT ) 1
Theory test
2 3 (practical)
4 (theory)
Practical Assessment Task (PAT ) 2
June Theory Examination
3 5 (practical)
6 (theory)
Preliminary Examination:
Practical (beginning of Term 3)
Theory Test
4 7 (practical and theory) Final Examination (external):
Paper 1 Theory
Paper 2 Practical
Retrospective Exhibition for moderation:
At least five works which could include Grade 11 work
+ Grade 12: PAT s 1 and 2,
Preliminary Practical (compulsory)
+ Final Examination Practical