Looking at paintings

Course Dates: 01/10/24 - 10/12/24
Time: 15:00 - 17:00
Location: Off Site
Look at masterpieces in major London galleries in this introduction to European painting. Explore different painting techniques and genres (landscape, portrait and history painting) for a basic understanding and increased enjoyment of Western art.
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Full fee £279.00 Senior fee £223.00 Concession £181.00
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Looking at paintings
  • Course Code: VB103
  • Dates: 01/10/24 - 10/12/24
  • Time: 15:00 - 17:00
  • Taught: Tue, Daytime
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
  • Location: Off Site
  • Tutor: Julia Musgrave

Course Code: VB103

Choose a start date  

Tue, day, 01 Oct - 10 Dec '24

Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Centre for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This art history course looks chronologically at key works of Western art on show in London’s collections from the Renaissance to the early 20th century. It examines paintings from the different ‘genres’ of painting: narrative, portrait, scenes from daily life, landscapes, animal, religious and still life, discussing each painting in the context of its era and its artist’s career.

Meeting points for this course will be emailed to you within one week of the course's start date. This course does not meet on the 27th of October.

What will we cover?

- Painting before ‘genre’ –religious and allegorical works from the early and late Renaissance
- History (Narrative) Painting – How do artists tell a story?
- Portraits – what do portraits tell us about the person(s) they represent?
- Scenes of everyday life –the humour and hidden moral messages of Dutch artists
- Landscapes and Seascapes – What can these paintings tell us about their owners and patrons?
- Animal painting
- Still Life – how ordinary objects can have hidden meanings.
- Modernist Painting – Did the legacy of ‘genre’ continue into the twentieth century?

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- List the six ‘genres’ of paintings and discuss their key characteristics
- Identify different periods, styles and genres of painting from selected examples
- Participate in discussions about art from a variety of periods, with greater confidence, and express an informed personal response.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is aimed at beginners; you do not need any special skills or previous subject knowledge to participate.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions to support demonstrations, hand-outs and for health and safety information.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

You will be taught with lecture around and within gallery spaces. You will also be invited to take part in group discussions.

Museum/gallery-based courses take place during public access hours. Tutors are not able to control sound levels or behaviours of visitors outside of the course group. Unless you are a wheelchair user, and have confirmed access details with us (as levels of access can vary between galleries), you will need to be able to walk between exhibits and stand for some time while looking at them (you may bring your own portable stool if you have one, but we cannot guarantee access to any gallery stools.) If you feel you may be impacted by these environmental variations, please inform the department on humanities@citylit.ac.uk before the course begins, to discuss reasonable accommodations we can make to assist your learning in the museum space.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You might wish to bring a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Focus on: Iconography
An introduction to art history: methods and techniques.

Julia Musgrave Tutor Website

Julia Musgrave got her first degree in Chemical Engineering and went on become a Chartered Information Systems Engineer and IT project manager. In 2008 she decided that life was too short for just one career and decided to become an art historian. She has a Graduate Diploma in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art and an MLitt in ‘Art, Style and Design: Renaissance to Modernism, c.1450 – c.1930’ from the University of Glasgow. She gained her Ph.D. at the University of York for her research into the involvement of Roger Fry and the Bloomsbury Group and the social networks of the British art world in the development of the Contemporary Art Society from 1910 to 1939. She is Co-Director of the London Art Salon and an accredited Arts Society lecturer.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.