Introductory & general art history courses

Introductory & General Art History Courses

Our introductory and general art history courses are foundational and designed to give students the skills they need to interpret art across time periods and cultures. These courses are about developing visual literacy, understanding major themes in the history of art and introducing how and why artists make art. Whether you are just starting out in art history or are well-versed in art knowledge, our introductory and general courses will help you develop techniques for visual analysis.

Online, classroom-based and gallery-based art history courses

Many of our courses are also offered online, giving you the freedom to study from anywhere you need to be. We also offer our classes in-person at our Central London location and at many galleries and museums in and around London. Use the Location filters on this page to choose your preferred delivery method. See our guide to online learning for more information about our live online courses.

Learn from expert tutors

At City Lit we are proud of the expertise of our tutors who are all professional art historians working actively in museums, galleries, research and writing, universities and auction houses. As experts in the field, they are able to provide you with the support and guidance you need to develop your art historical knowledge. As teachers they provide student-focused education, helping students achieve their art historical goals, both the personal and the professional.

Some of our courses take place in the classroom — learn more about Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit.

Items 1-15 of 19

Page
per page
Set Descending Direction
  1. Art history taster
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 21 Jan 2022 (and 3 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Ever wondered what art history is but don’t want to commit to a whole course? Wonder what's involved in online learning at City Lit? Try this taster session!



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £0.00 Senior fee £0.00 Concession £0.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  2. Landscape in art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 21 Feb 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Can a depiction of a landscape ever simply be JUST a landscape? Or is it a view onto a wider world, is there a context or, in the words of David Hockney, a “bigger picture?”.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £60.00
  3. Focus on: Velazquez
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 2 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Mark Stuart-Smith
    Investigate the work of the Spanish painter Diego Velázquez, including enigmatic paintings such as Las Meninas (1656), and learn about how his art relates to his political role as court painter to Philip IV.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
  4. Focus on: iconography
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 3 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Ever wondered whether there’s a hidden meaning behind paintings? Discover why there are signs and symbols in paintings and how to find and interpret their meanings in medieval and Renaissance art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. Focus on: Vermeer
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 4 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Master of stillness and light, author of only 35, maybe 36, known works, Vermeer’s art continues to fascinate. Discover his life and works in the context of the Dutch Golden Age.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  6. Islamic art in 25 objects
    Course start date:  Wed 27 Apr 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    Discover important objects of Islamic Art dating across a more than a millennium in London galleries. We will study world-famous objects, discover lesser known gems, study their context and understand how they relate to one another and the wider world.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
  7. Introduction to Tate Britain
    Course start date:  Fri 6 May 2022

    Location on this date:  OS - Off Site

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Each week, we'll explore a different aspect of the permanent collection at Tate Britain, looking at artworks from the 16th to the 21st centuries. This course is gallery based.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Key sculptors you should know
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rachel Sanders
    Study sculptors from the Renaissance to the Post-Modern, including Donatello, Bernini, Canova, Rodin, Picasso and Whiteread, considering styles, materials and techniques of key works within social and cultural contexts.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
  9. Introduction to the art of art history - part 2
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 7 May 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Rachel Sanders
    Explore a variety of art movements, from Neo-Classicism to Abstract Expressionism through an introductory study of the writing of art theorists and commentators who have made a significant contribution to Art History as a discipline.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £121.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  10. The history and meaning of portraiture
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 9 May 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Examine the changing face of the portrait in art history from the early Renaissance to the present. Look at how and why its meaning and function have changed over the years and why artists are still drawn to it despite photography.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £249.00 Senior fee £249.00 Concession £152.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  11. Movements in art: Impressionism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 13 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Study the work of a controversial group of painters working in and around Paris from the late 1860s and 1870s and explore how these artists re-thought their creative practice in response to modern life.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  12. Symbols and stories: saints in art
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Jun 2022

    Location on this date:  KS - Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Saints are represented in masterpieces of Christian art from 1200 to the present – learn how to recognise them, decode their meanings and iconography and enhance your understanding of this aspect of art history.



    This course takes place in the classroom, please follow this link to find out what we are doing to keep you safe: Staying COVID-19 secure at City Lit
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Movements in art: Surrealism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 5 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore the art and artists of Surrealism from their origins in the political and psychological upheaval of Post-World War I Paris to their widespread influence on 20th century art and culture.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  14. Ways into Islamic art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 6 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    An introductory art history course providing an overview of the development of the visual language of Islamic cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £79.00
  15. Movements in art: Cubism and Futurism
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 18 Jul 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Cubism and Futurism are pivotal movements in the history of modern art – encapsulating all the promise and peril of the 20th century’s devastating birth, and even helping rewrite perceptions of space and time.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £42.00
    Rating:
    80% of 100

Items 1-15 of 19

Page
per page
Set Descending Direction

Can't see a course you want?

Add this category to your waiting list to set up alerts and we will update you when new courses are released online.

Add to your waiting list