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. Art and society in the early modern Netherlands
    Course start date:  Thu 6 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Thomas Balfe
    This course focuses on Flemish and Dutch (Netherlandish) art of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The course will examine well-known artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Rembrandt and Vermeer, as well as the role of artworks and visual images in the formation of religious, class, gender and national identities, in early science, and in cultures of collecting.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
  2. Homosexuality in Greek vascular painting
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Simone Chisena
    Discover the ways in which homoeroticism found its way onto Ancient Greek vases and how its depiction flourished in the ancient world.



    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
  3. Romanesque art, culture and society
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Andreas Petzold
    The Romanesque is the first international style since antiquity, and one of the most inventive and creative periods in the history of art. The course takes a thematic approach to this fascinating period and provides an introduction to the main themes and works of art and architecture from this period; it is based on the tutor's book 'Romanesque Art.'.
    Full fee £199.00 Senior fee £159.00 Concession £129.00
  4. Textiles: an international history
    Course start date:  Thu 3 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    As well as expressing power, prestige and fulfilling symbolic functions, textiles have been intimately linked to the everyday lives of members all societies for millennia. On this course you will study the development of woven, printed and embroidered textiles of many kinds from around the globe and explore the significant roles they have played in the world’s material culture.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £179.00 Senior fee £143.00 Concession £116.00
  5. Women of the art world: dealers, collectors and patrons
    Evening
    Course start date:  Thu 10 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Henry Martin
    Across six weeks, students will learn about the careers and lives of six important taste-makers and the artists and movements they encouraged, and the society they functioned within. These women and their stories are largely overlooked in most accounts of art history, buried in archives or seen as second to the artists and movements they supported. This blind-spot by art historians will also be explored, examining who decides what art history is and why.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £129.00 Concession £84.00
  6. Art & war
    Course start date:  Thu 17 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Art representing issues of war, conflict and revolution is usually either an expression of triumph or loss. But who decides? What is such art for and what can it hope to achieve? Attitudes to war have changed significantly and this course considers responses to conflict in painting, sculpture, photography, performance art and architecture spanning the globe and across different eras.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £84.00
  7. Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £169.00 Concession £110.00
  8. Lunchtime lecture: Vanitas, a matter of life and death
    Course start date:  Thu 31 Oct 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore the concept of vanitas in works of art from across time and place. Vanitas as a subject, an idea, helps us consider the temporary beauty of our world. Join us for a new perspective on an old subject.



    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. The world in black and red: painting in ancient Greece
    Course start date:  Thu 7 Nov 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Simone Chisena
    Delve deep in the world of Ancient Greek pottery and explore its vivid representations of gods, heroes and mythical past.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £84.00
  10. The beauty of the medieval manuscript
    Course start date:  Thu 6 Jun 2024 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    It is generally accepted that medieval illuminated manuscripts are very beautiful things. Something to do with all that gold-leaf maybe. While we cannot hold them in class, close-up digital reproduction will allow us to see if they really are as beautiful as we are told. Indeed, are none of them ugly? Join this course to find out.



    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 £79.00 Concession £64.00
  11. Adoring the Christ Child in art: images of the very generous Magi
    Course start date:  Thu 12 Dec 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    The images of the Adoration of the Magi will be taken from medieval illuminated manuscripts, as well as panel paintings done for churches and chapels and fresco cycles. Artists covered include Italian artists such as Duccio, Giotto, Botticelli, Fra Filippo Lippi, Fra Angelico, Gentile da Fabriano, and northern Renaissance artists including Gossaert and Breughel.



    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
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