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
    Evening
    Course start date:  Mon 27 Mar 2023 (and 3 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. Art and revolution: in the long 18th century
    Course start date:  Wed 1 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    From the absolute monarch to the beheaded king, discover how artists contributed to the cultural revolutions of the ‘long 18th century’ (1630s-1800). We explore how shifts in artistic style and subject matter reflected dramatic social change. Through reading the philosophy of the age we uncover how this era’s complex notions of beauty and justice still impact art and society today.
    Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £151.00 Concession £123.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  3. Looking at contemporary art
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Mar 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 £109.00 Senior fee £87.00 Concession £71.00
    Rating:
    93% of 100
  4. The influence of Japan on Western art in the 19th century
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Explore how 19th century European artists from the Impressionists to Art Nouveau transformed their artistic language with the study Japanese art, form and subject.
    Full fee £139.00 Senior fee £111.00 Concession £90.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  5. Representing nature in early modern Europe
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Explore the links between the visual image and ideas of nature in early modernity (c.1500-1750). At this time, tools like the microscope were visualising nature in new ways, changes were afoot in how humans related to animals, and the environments of Asia and the Americas were becoming more familiar to Europeans. We will focus on how artists and skilled artisans engaged with these subjects.



    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
  6. Friday lates: the art of zines
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 3 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Christopher Collier
    Underground passions and radical imagery have defined so-called fanzines for over 80 years. From the earliest examples to today, we explore their content, technique and the relation of DIY culture to wider artistic practices.



    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
  7. Focus on: David Hockney
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Julie Barlow
    In 2011 David Hockney was voted most influential British artist of all time in a poll of over 1000 artists. Explore how Hockney’s career as painter, photographer and writer has evolved over six decades.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100
  8. Cutting it fine: collage in modern & contemporary art
    Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 5 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Immerse yourself in an exploration of the history of collage going as far back as ancient China to international contemporary art today. This engaging study day will enhance your knowledge of the roots of this fascinating media, and illustrate how collage techniques have been pivotal to major modern and contemporary art movements, from Cubism, Dada and Surrealism to photomontage and digital art.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  9. Animals in Renaissance art
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Mon 6 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lydia Goodson
    Beasts are everywhere in the art of the Renaissance. Discover why they are there and how artists created the painted and sculpted menageries of both real and imaginary creatures that populate Renaissance art.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
  10. A stroll through British art: 1500-1850
    Course start date:  Wed 8 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    On this informal gallery-based course you will explore and discuss the history and characteristics of British art from the 16th century to the mid-19th century. The course will take place offsite at both the National Gallery and Tate Britain.
    Full fee £169.00 Senior fee £135.00 Concession £110.00
  11. Lunchtime lecture: rethinking Mary Cassatt
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Thu 9 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Join us for an exploration of the art of Mary Cassatt: feminist, independent, painter of women in the world.



    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
  12. Friday lates: Paula Rego – fairy tales and forbidden things
    ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 10 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Chantal Condron
    Discover the work of one of Britain’s best loved artists, whose paintings of vivid interior and private drama draw on her early years growing up in Portugal under the repressive Catholic dictatorship of General Salazar.



    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
  13. Purchasing power: patronage and art buying in the Italian Renaissance
    ONLINE, Weekend
    Course start date:  Sun 12 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Lydia Goodson
    Discover the back-story of 'how art works come to be' by learning about the patronage and production of artworks in Renaissance Italy.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £59.00 Senior fee £47.00 Concession £38.00
  14. Friday lates: new media art in China - over the Great Firewall
    Evening, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Fri 17 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Meitao Qu
    From creation to distribution, the explosion of digital technologies has transformed artmaking in a myriad of ways. In this session, we will journey across the Great Firewall to explore new media art in China.



    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 £19.00
  15. Focus on: Vermeer
    Last Few Places, ONLINE
    Course start date:  Wed 22 Mar 2023

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Leslie Primo
    Master of stillness and light, author of only 35, maybe 36, known works, Vermeer’s art continues to fascinate. Discover his life and works in the context of the Dutch Golden Age.



    This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
    Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £55.00 Concession £45.00
    Rating:
    100% of 100

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