Focus on: art and medicine
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VB866
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
In this one-day course we will explore representations of the sick body in European art from the Classical to the Contemporary to discover the reasons why artists depict the sick. We will discuss how representations of illness in art reflect specific cultural agendas while also touching on basic human needs that seem to transcend culture and era.
This course is structured around lectures and class discussions exploring relevant concepts and historical questions; it will also include two short classroom activities.
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?
• The Classical body: perfection, realism and political gain – Sculptures from ancient Greece and Rome
• The Enlightenment body: teaching tools and moralising tales – Paintings from the 17th century, Italian and Dutch, saints and sinners
• The 19th century body: illness and activism – Photography and illustration from artist-doctors
• The contemporary body: ‘victims’ and empowerment – Art in medical museums.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
After lecture and discussion you should be able to:
• Explain how art is an important tool in conveying medical practice and beliefs
• Discuss at least two examples of artworks that depict illness and how it reflects medical practice during the era in which it was created
• Discuss at least one of the key social, political or intellectual goals associated with representing sickness in art.
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 will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught with slide presentations, group discussions and guided activities.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to bring a notebook. 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?
You might also be interested in:
VB620 - Focus on: Leonardo da Vinci
VB857 - Art and science.
Sarah Jaffray received her BA and MA in Art History with an emphasis in French Modernism and a minor in the Italian Renaissance. She holds a second MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, University of London. Sarah was a lecturer for several colleges and universities in the Los Angeles area before relocating to London to be with her family. For the past three years she has worked as an educator in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum and at Wellcome Collection. Her interests include Modernism, drawing, artistic process, collaboration, cultural theory, and the intersection of art and technology. She is currently researching the relationship of language and drawing.
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.