Focus on: iconography

Course Dates: 22/03/20
Time: 10:30 - 16:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street

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.


What is the course about?

This one-day course is an introduction to the iconographic language used in Medieval, Renaissance and Old Master paintings; the symbols and compositional devices used to convey particular messages within these paintings to the audience of the day. An apple here, a peacock there; these objects communicate messages which are now misunderstood by modern audiences, but what did they mean to their contemporary viewers?

What will we cover?

• How to identify the most commonly illustrated saints in Christian iconography
• Key compositional formats in Christian art, such as adorations, annunciations, assumptions, and transfigurations
• The secular iconography of Greek and Roman gods and goddesses.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Be able to identify at least 3 saints by their attributes
• Describe three Christian compositional formats
• Be able to identify at least 3 classical gods or goddesses by their attributes.

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 short lectures, slide shows and discussions.

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?

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 6 item(s)

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Reviews below are by students who have attended this course, regardless of the course teacher. Please be aware you may not be booking onto a course with the same teacher.

An excellent course run by a very knowledgeable tutor.
Course Rating
Review by Sue / (Posted on 14/06/2019)
Excellent day. Worth attending
Course Rating
Review by Jane / (Posted on 12/06/2019)
Illuminating material
Excellent tutor
Group involvement
Course Rating
Review by anonymous / (Posted on 11/06/2019)
An excellent overview
Course Rating
Review by Elizabeth / (Posted on 09/06/2019)
A serious and well planned course for those who want to further their understanding and reading of pictures
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 09/06/2019)
Do it
Course Rating
Review by Anonymous / (Posted on 09/06/2019)
Tutor Biographies
Leslie Primo

Leslie Primo has spent more than 15 years giving lectures to the general public at the National Gallery for the Information and Education departments. During this time he graduated with a degree in History of Art and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck, University College of London. In his studies he specialised in early Medieval and Renaissance studies, including, Italian Renaissance Drawing, Art and Architecture in Europe 1250-1400 Art and Architecture in Europe 1400-1500, Medici and Patronage, Narrative Painting in the Age of Giotto, and the work of Peter Paul Rubens focusing on his paintings of the Judgement of Paris, and Greek Myth in paintings. He is also an accredited Art Society lecturer.

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.

Book your place

Course Code: VB313

Sun, day, 22 Mar - 22 Mar '20

Duration: 1 session

Full fee: £69.00
Senior fee: £55.00
Concession: £42.00

Or call to enrol: 020 7831 7831

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Any questions?
or call 020 7492 2652

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.