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.

For the latest news, courses, events and competitions, stay in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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: Reading Old Master Drawings - an art historical insight
    Course start date:  Wed 22 May 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    What is drawing and what is its unique place in the history of art? Come to understand this special medium through an exploration of some of the greatest draughtspeople in Western European art.



    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. Sanctuary in the city – public art by refugees and immigrants
    Last Few Places
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Off Site

    Tutors:  Marilyn Greene
    Come on a walking tour of public art through the City of London created by Refugees and Immigrants. We will explore artworks such as the 17th century carvings on the Monument and a Victorian plaques relocated on to the post Modern Number One Poultry by economic immigrants to the country as well as looking at mainly works by 20th century artists from refugee backgrounds who were either commissioned to make art works for site specific places or their works have been bought or moved to their locations.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  3. Art and critical theory: feminism and post-colonialism
    Course start date:  Tue 4 Jun 2024

    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 feminism, post-colonial theory and the notion of the death of the author.



    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
    Rating:
    80% of 100
  4. Reimaging the Renaissance: strange pictures
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Emma Rose Barber
    Mythical beasts, fruity swags, strange shell forms, odd expressions, the bizarre dream and fantasy subject matter – there is more to Renaissance art than meets the eye. Come and discover the strange work of Paolo Uccello, Carlo Crivelli, Piero di Cosimo, Ercole de’Roberti, Dosso Dossi, Cosmè Tura and Francesco del Cossa.
    Full fee £149.00 Senior fee £119.00 Concession £97.00
  5. Movements in art: Impressionism
    Course start date:  Wed 5 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    Study the work of a controversial group of painters working in and around Paris from the late 1860s and 1870s and explore how these artists re-thought their creative practice in response to modern life.



    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:
    90% of 100
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Representing nature in early modern Europe
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Thomas Balfe
    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.
    Full fee £119.00 Senior fee £95.00 Concession £77.00
  9. A brief history of printmaking
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Discover the complexity of printmaking through this introduction to its history. Explore the cultural contexts, social ideas and artistic methods that make printmaking distinct to other forms of art.



    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
  10. The Norwich School - a unique society of landscape painters
    Course start date:  Fri 7 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    On this course you will study the fascinating work of the 19th century Norwich School, a loose association of generations of painters from artistic families who worked in Norwich, Norfolk, one of the most important and wealthy regional capitals of the day. You will explore the beautiful landscapes produced by these artists and also discover work produced by remarkable women in the group.



    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
  11. Ways into Islamic art
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Anita Chowdry
    An introductory course providing an overview of the development of the visual language of Islamic cultures in Asia, Africa and Europe.



    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
  12. Paintings of peace and war: Rubens's creative take on the Classical world
    Course start date:  Tue 11 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Keeley Street

    Tutors:  Elizabeth Eyres
    We shall see how Flemish artist Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1557-1640) combined his passion for the classical past with his role as diplomat and peacemaker. By examining two allegorical works by the artist, we will investigate how he used mythological figures from the ancient world to comment on his fears of escalating war and in his hopes for negotiating peace in contemporary 17th century Europe.
    Full fee £19.00 Senior fee £15.00 Concession £12.00
  13. Lunchtime lecture: Yoko Ono - viewer as participant
    Course start date:  Wed 12 Jun 2024

    Location on this date:  Online

    Tutors:  Sarah Jaffray
    Get to know the art of Yoko Ono from performance art to installation. We explore how the artist works in collaboration with the participant to create communal art for all.



    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
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