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. Animals in art - from medieval art to today
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 20 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    This course focuses on historical shifts in the depiction of animals from the late medieval period to the present, and on the contemporary representations of human-animal relations.



    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 £99.00 Concession £64.00
  2. Still life in the history of art: opulence and fragility
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Jan 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Still-life paintings usually represent ordinary things, often small and arranged on an indoor surface, without human presence. Long regarded in western art as the lowliest subject or “genre”, one that only required technical skill rather than imagination, still lifes are now considered some of the most charming and best loved paintings and can contain intriguing meanings that repay close study.



    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 £64.00
  3. Velázquez, painter to the King
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sat 25 Feb 2023

    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 £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  4. Focus on: David Hockney
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    In 2011 David Hockney was voted most influential British artist of all time in a poll of over 1000 artists. Explore how Hockney’s career as painter, photographer and writer has evolved over six decades.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. Animals in Renaissance art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lydia Goodson
    Beasts are everywhere in the art of the Renaissance. Discover why they are there and how artists created the painted and sculpted menageries of both real and imaginary creatures that populate 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 £45.00
  6. Focus on: Vermeer
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Mar 2023

    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 £45.00
    Rating:
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  7. Focus on: iconography
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 26 Mar 2023

    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 £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
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