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 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. Art history taster
    Course start date:  Tue 18 Apr 2023 (and 4 other dates)

    Location on this date:  Online (other locations are available)

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Curious about art history? Join us for this taster session where we explore different ways into visual art and its histories, from the ancient to the contemporary.



    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 £10.00
    Rating:
    98% of 100
  2. London's hidden art and architecture, part II
    Course start date:  Wed 19 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Uncover a whole new side of London, from Roman times to the present day through a series of walks and visits to art galleries and historic sites.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  3. Lunchtime lecture: Botticelli's nature - vernal roses and frothing seas
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 24 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the nature and evironment within and beyond Botticell's most iconic paintings, La Primavera and The Birth of Venus. Learn how closely the artist studied nature and what it can teach about the changing climate we live in today.



    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 £8.00 Concession £7.00
  4. Art and critical theory: vision and gaze
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Tue 25 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Explore the role of critical theory within the field of art history, and learn new ways of thinking about art by focusing on the topics of vision and gaze.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  5. German art after the 1960s: from happenings to artificial sunshine
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Irina Chkhaidze
    Explore German art from the 1960s to present, from movements such as Conceptualism, Fluxus, Capitalist Realism and Neo-Expressionism to the most recent multi-media art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £139.00 Concession £90.00
  6. Makers not muses: Claude Cahun, Eileen Agar and Isabel Rawsthorne
    Evening
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore the work of three radical artists whose work and practice defied convention in modern art from the 1920s to 1960s. Discover how each artist challenged and transcended society’s expectations of being a ‘muse’ by living freely and making art in a variety of media, from painting and sculpture to collage, photography and performance.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  7. Art and melancholy: from the Enlightenment to the Victorian age
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Study the art of the period from c.1750-1880 considering Romanticism and the Pre-Raphaelites. We look at ‘romantic’ landscape, the modern moral subject and the depiction of women. Explore the art of women artists who struggled to survive as artists in the tightly controlled world of the art academy where the woman was encouraged to be muse and model rather than creator and thinker.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
    Rating:
    70% of 100
  8. Islamic art in 25 objects
    Course start date:  Wed 26 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    Discover important objects of Islamic Art dating across a more than a millennium in London galleries. We will study world-famous objects, discover lesser known gems, study their context and understand how they relate to one another and the wider world.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  9. The art of Byzantium
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    A study of the unique visual flavour of Byzantine art and architecture, the development of a range of craft industries, and the impact of Byzantium on other cultures.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  10. Hell, Heaven and Purgatory in the Middle Ages
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Why were images to do with the afterlife so prevalent in the Middle Ages? Come, face your eternal destinies and look at images such as the Last Judgement, skeletons, filthy flesh, worms, ghosts and Hell mouths.
    Full fee £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
  11. Homes, houses and art in Britain 1900-1960
    Course start date:  Thu 27 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Knock on the door of artists’ houses and studios from 1900-1960 to experience exciting and visually dazzling spaces created over the course of their careers. At a time when artists were beginning to forge their own brave new visual worlds, this course considers what the homes might tell us about the artists and how they wanted their homes to be seen.
    Full fee £159.00 Senior fee £127.00 Concession £103.00
  12. Friday lates: Lubaina Himid – longing and belonging
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    This Friday evening art history course spotlights the work of artist Lubaina Himid, one of Britain's most thought provoking artists.



    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
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  13. Contemporary art in London
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Explore and discuss contemporary art on show in London. Each week we’ll visit 1-2 commercial galleries or a public gallery and examine specific exhibitions of contemporary art across a range of media including painting, works on paper, photography, new media and sculpture.
    Full fee £129.00 Senior fee £103.00 Concession £84.00
    Rating:
    90% of 100
  14. Focus on: fashion in 16th century art
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    Do you know your codpiece from your farthingale? Why did the ruff become so fashionable? How do we identify figures in narrative and religious art? This short course explores the fascinating world of costume in 16th century European painting. Explore the socio-political context behind portraiture, how fashion was employed to convey status, and the impact of developments in textiles and trade.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  15. Friday lates: the body as image and material in 20th century art
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 28 Apr 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the representation of body and body-related practices by prominent modern and contemporary artists of the twentieth century.



    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

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