Art history

Art History courses online and in London

Looking to build your confidence in discussing and interpreting art? Or are you interested in taking your established knowledge of art in new directions? Then come and join City Lit’s Art History learning community!

Our exceptional range of courses, both introductory and in-depth, are designed for all learning levels. Our programme approaches art history from a variety of perspectives including social and cultural context, art theory and philosophy, curation and collecting, general art appreciation and so much more.

Choosing the right class for you

Our courses are open to all. Our students come from all backgrounds and learning experiences, from the absolute beginner to those refining their knowledge and understanding. We aim to give you the confidence to engage meaningfully with art, whatever level you are working from. Our students use our courses for personal fulfilment as well as professional and educational development. Many of our students go on to advanced degree and certificate programmes and many are able to use their knowledge in art making and gallery work.

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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Courses available both in-person and online

We offer a range of long and short courses allowing you to choose between in-person and online learning.

Learn in the centre of London with our in-person courses. Our purpose-built facilities in Covent Garden mean we are ideally located and easy to get to. 

See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.

All our courses are live, interactive, and taught by expert tutors. No matter how you prefer to learn, we've got the class for you.

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  1. Lunchtime lecture: Art of the Harlem Renaissance
    Course start date:  Tue 1 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Learn about the Harlem Renaissance and some of its core artists. Explore the goals and aspirations of the movement and how it impacted 20th century America.



    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 £10.00 Concession £7.00
  2. Fra Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico – the two monastic painters
    Course start date:  Tue 9 Jul 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Join us for a close reading of the works of Fra Filippo Lippi and Fra Angelico, two of 15th century Italy's most influential artists. We study their techniques, their subject matter and how they communicated narratives in painting. Explore all the wonderful tactile visual details they added to the works.



    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 £15.00 Concession £12.00
  3. The varied styles of the Italian Renaissance: through the lens of Pontormo and Masaccio
    Course start date:  Tue 15 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    An in-depth online discussion about two artists that represent to different styles of the Italian Renaissance, but who may have more in common than we think.



    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 £15.00 Concession £12.00
  4. Adam Elsheimer, his secret art
    Course start date:  Tue 22 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    This is about a German 17th-century painter who deserves to be better known. In fact, we might see him as the equivalent to Caravaggio for Germany. We shall also study him in relation to his contemporaries such as Rubens, Lorrain and Poussin. A consideration of new scientific endeavours, such as how light works will feature to try and explain the way in which he painted.



    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 £15.00 Concession £12.00
  5. Still life in the history of art: opulence and fragility
    Course start date:  Tue 5 Nov 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    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.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  6. Lunchtime lecture: Raphael - too perfect for words
    Course start date:  Tue 12 Nov 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore the work of Renaissance master Raphael through his highly polished artistic process. Get to know how the artist came to be known by his contemporaries as a person showered by the ‘infinite riches of heaven’.



    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 £10.00 Concession £7.00
  7. The beginnings of Impressionism: the Barbizon School
    Course start date:  Tue 19 Nov 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Who said the Impressionists were the first to paint ‘en plein air’? Get lost in wood and green and light and shade in the large forest of Fontainebleau near Paris and learn about a group of 19th-century painters who influenced the Impressionists in the art of painting landscape outside.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
  8. Tuesday talks: Angels in art
    Course start date:  Tue 10 Dec 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Angels have always made their mark – wings and all. And this course will explore painted and carved angels in western art in all their ways and fashions, from the archangels to Christmas angels to those just flying in to say hello.



    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 £10.00 Concession £7.00
  9. Ways into art history
    Course start date:  Tue 7 Jan 2025

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    An introduction to studying art history, inviting you to get close to works of art and learn how to improve your visual and analytical skills.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
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