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.

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  1. Introduction to art history
    Last Few Places, Evening
    Course start date:  Tue 27 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Are you interested in art and want to get more out of looking at art and exhibitions? Want to know what an art historian does? Develop your interpretative skills by exploring at how art is made and what social and cultural factors construct our understanding of it.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    99% of 100
  2. What makes a masterpiece
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 3 Oct 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Look at works of art in the Western canon and ask why we consider them to be masterpieces. What formal qualities do they all share, if any, or is our interpretation of a masterpiece largely subjective?



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  3. Introduction to the art of art history - part 1
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 14 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rachel Sanders
    This course is an introduction to Art History as an academic discipline. Students will study artworks from a variety of approaches, considering such aspects as formal analysis, material studies, and social, cultural and artistic contexts.
    Full fee £269.00 Senior fee £215.00 Concession £175.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  4. Looking at sculpture
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 14 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Rachel Sanders
    Study sculptures from the Classical to the Post-Modern era, including work by Donatello, Bernini, Canova, Rodin, Picasso and Whiteread, considering styles, materials and techniques of works within social and cultural contexts.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  5. National Gallery
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 30 Sep 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Get to know the National Gallery. Discuss a differently themed group of paintings each week in front of the pictures. An opportunity to understand our national collection in greater depth.
    Full fee £239.00 Senior fee £191.00 Concession £155.00
    Rating:
    97% of 100
  6. The rise and fall of the Italian Renaissance
    Course start date:  Mon 23 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    When, where and what was the Italian Renaissance? Explore it through the craft of its masters such as Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo, Titian and others and trace its legacy.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £219.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  7. Islamic art in 25 objects
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    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.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  8. Introduction to the art of art history - part 2
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 6 May 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    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.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  9. Ways into Islamic art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 6 Jul 2022 (and 1 other date)

    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 £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  10. Symbols and stories: saints in art
    Course start date:  Tue 21 Jun 2022 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    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.



    NB.The first class is online due to the rail and tube strike on Tuesday 21 June. The rest of the course will take place in person at City Lit, Keeley Street.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  11. Looking at paintings
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    Look at masterpieces in major London galleries in this introduction to European painting. Explore different painting techniques and genres (landscape, portrait and history painting) for a basic understanding and increased enjoyment of Western art.
    Full fee £219.00 Senior fee £175.00 Concession £142.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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