Art and environment in Ice Age Europe
Time: 10:30 - 12:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
This course has now finished
- Course Code: VB793
- Dates: 25/01/24 - 22/02/24
- Time: 10:30 - 12:30
- Taught: Thu, Daytime
- Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
- Location: Online
- Tutor: Simone Chisena
Course Code: VB793
Duration: 5 sessions (over 5 weeks)
Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.
What is the course about?
When thinking back to the earliest stages of European prehistory, art is not often the first aspect that comes to mind. Our prehistoric ancestors, however, have left behind a rich record of visual artistic expression, from the painted caves of Atlantic Europe to the beautiful sculpted Venuses of the Danubian basin, via a vast treasure trove of portable art. In this course, we will explore the art of the European Ice Age (1.2m – 12,000 years ago), focusing our attention on how the often hostile environment of Upper Palaeolithic Europe impacted the ideation, production, fruition and conservation of this heritage.
We will look at what materials were available during the glacial period and the techniques deployed to produce art; how the landscape and fauna of the time influenced the imagery conveyed in the visual expressions of those human groups; how art was enjoyed and how the skills necessary to create it were transmitted; finally, we will investigate how the same environment that made that art possible has allowed it to be preserved to this day.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
-Timeline and environmental characteristics of the Ice Age in Europe (1.2m-12,000 Years ago);
-Materials available to prehistoric artists, their variation according to the environment and the sourcing techniques used;
-Forms of prehistoric artistic expression (painting, sculpture and personal ornamentation) and the techniques for their execution.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
By the end of this course you should be able to:
Demonstrate a summary knowledge of the Ice Age chronology and environmental characteristics;
By the end of this course you should be able to:
-Demonstrate a summary knowledge of the Ice Age chronology and environmental characteristic;
-Distinguish between the different forms of prehistoric artistic expression;
-Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of Upper Palaeolithic environmental phenomena on the artistic production of early human groups.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and an understanding of how to operate basics of Zoom microphone and camera.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught with lecture, slide presentations and will be invited to participate in class discussion. There will be homework in this course in the form of reading art historical texts and art criticism and looking at artworks in-depth. Homework is highly recommended to make the most of the course subject matter.
You will be invited to join a Google Classroom to supplement the course where documents will be shared and stored. You will receive an invitation to join this Google Classroom within a week of the course start date.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to purchase a notebook for taking notes. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Representing nature in early modern Europe
Art and critical theory: rethinking 'nature'.
Simone Chisena gained a BA in Classics (dissertation on Greek Vascular Painting) from the University of Pavia and an MSc in Archaeology (dissertation on anthropomorphic menhirs from the Alps) from the University of Rome "La Sapienza". After moving to the UK, his research has focused on prehistoric art of the Upper Palaeolithic (35k-10k years ago), on which he is completing his PhD at the University of York. Alongside teaching for the University of York's Department of Archaeology, he has taught courses on prehistoric art at the Centre for Lifelong Learning and, since 2022, at CityLit. A natural eclectic, his current research focuses on the transmission of artistic skills in European prehistory, but he has not forgotten his Classics background and has never stopped cultivating his interests in Ancient Greek and Roman art.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.