A social history of Europe in 11 paintings: 1400-1900

Course Dates: 05/05/17 - 14/07/17
Time: 13:30 - 15:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

We will explore the historical setting of key paintings with a musical theme by artists ranging from Fra Angelico to Zoffany. The course includes a visit to the National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery.

NOTE: This course is designed to stand alone but also complements HH020 - Music in art: 1400 - 1900.


What is the course about?

Each week we take one or two paintings with a musical theme and set them in their social historical context. The course is designed to stand alone but also complements Music in Art 1400-1900.

What will we cover?

Each week we will explore one or two paintings ranging over five centuries that can provide an insight into the social history of the period. Works include the following: Music (Justus of Ghent, 1470s); The Music Lesson (attrib Titian, c.1536); Henry Unton Portrait (Anon, c.1558-96); A Musical Party (Jacob Van Velson, 1631); The Sharp Family (Zoffany, 1779-81) and Music in the Tuilleries Garden (Manet, 1862). There will be two offsite trips to the National and National Portrait Galleries to see the paintings in situ.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Discuss the changing nature of art patronage between 1400 and 1900.
• Describe the career and social activities of a Tudor gentlemen by reference to the Henry Unton portrait
• Recognise how Dutch painting engendered a sense of nationalism through the portrayal of everyday life using paintings by Zoffany and Vermeer
• Explore the history of the Sharp family and their representation on canvas
• Identify social activities such as dining and drinking habits throughout the late medieval through to the Victorian period.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This is an introductory course, suitable for newcomers and for those who have already done other introductory courses in history. You will need a good grasp of English to keep up with the course. An open mind and a willingness to listen to and think about views with which you do not always agree are more important than the pre-existing knowledge of the content of the course.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Each week there will be an informative talk, using PowerPoint, during which class discussion will be encouraged.
We shall use small group work to analyse original sources and a range of handouts will be available for discussion
purposes. Occasionally small pieces of homework reading will be distributed to augment your knowledge. You are encouraged to bring along/describe items you have read in newspapers/heard on radio/seen on TV you think may be of interest to the group.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

There are no costs other than for note-taking materials. Althought the National and National Portrait Galleries are within walking distance of the City Lit., you may wish to consider the cost of public transport.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Book your place

Course Code: HH021

Fri, day, 05 May - 14 Jul '17

Duration: 11 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Full fee: £169.00
Senior fee: £135.00
Concession: £74.00
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Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions? humanities@citylit.ac.uk
or call 020 7492 2652

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Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.