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 online and in-person learning. 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. See our guide to online learning for more information about accessing our live online courses.


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  1. Understanding contemporary art: ideas and origins
    Course start date:  Mon 2 Oct 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Ever wondered what's going on in the mind of contemporary artists? This course explores the ideas and historical background behind some of today’s most intriguing works, from Conceptualism and Video to Body Art and Installation.

    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £149.00 Concession £97.00
    90% of 100
  2. National Portrait Gallery
    Course start date:  Mon 30 Oct 2023 (and 1 other date)

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Discover portraiture and the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. Different periods and styles are discussed each week in front of the portraits. Includes visits to the current temporary exhibitions.
    Full fee £139.00
    93% of 100
  3. The Bloomsbury Group: art & design
    Course start date:  Mon 19 Feb 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julia Musgrave
    They lived in squares and loved in triangles. Discover the art and influence of the Bloomsbury Group, through the work of their key artists: Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry and Duncan Grant.

    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 £119.00 Concession £77.00
  4. Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
    95% of 100
  5. Art and society in the early modern Netherlands
    Course start date:  Mon 5 Jun 2023 (and 1 other date)

    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 £139.00
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