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. Art history taster
    Course start date:  Mon 12 Sep 2022 (and 15 other dates)

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

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Curious about art history? Join us for this taster session where we explore different ways into visual art and its histories, from the ancient to the contemporary.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £8.00 Concession £7.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  2. Animals in art - from medieval art to today
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 13 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
  3. Lunchtime lecture: Peggy Guggenheim's Venice
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 14 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Join us for an introduction to one of the 20th century’s most important art collectors and why she chose Venice as the permanent home for her art collection. This is the inaugural course of City Lit Art History's 'Venice Season'.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £10.00 Senior fee £8.00 Concession £7.00
  4. The history of Western art in 100 paintings
    Course start date:  Thu 22 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    A chronological introduction to Western art from c.1250 to the present day, taught by looking at artworks in London’s galleries, and related materials.
    Full fee £559.00 Senior fee £447.00 Concession £363.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  5. 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
  6. Friday lates: the Venice Biennale
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 23 Sep 2022

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore the Venice Biennale, the oldest international contemporary art exhibition in the world. If you are curious to learn a brief history of the Biennale and discover highlights of this year’s event, join this Friday Late to find out more.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £19.00 Concession £12.00
  7. What makes a masterpiece
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 26 Sep 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
  8. Introduction to art history
    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
  9. National Gallery
    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

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