National Gallery

Course Dates: 23/09/24 - 02/12/24
Time: 13:30 - 15:30
Location: Off Site
Discuss a differently themed group of paintings each week in front of the pictures. An opportunity to understand our national collection in greater depth.
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National Gallery
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  • Course Code: VB982
  • Dates: 23/09/24 - 02/12/24
  • Time: 13:30 - 15:30
  • Taught: Mon, Daytime
  • Duration: 10 sessions (over 11 weeks)
  • Location: Off Site
  • Tutor: Leslie Primo

Course Code: VB982

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Full Mon, day, 23 Sep - 02 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?

Each week a selection of paintings will be discussed by the class in front of the actual works. This is an opportunity to understand our national collection in greater depth by looking and discussing with students the paintings, while also affording them an opportunity to look at the actual paint, the physically/size of the images and thus the original uses of the objects. This course will also look at how and why paintings are placed gallery spaces, how there are lit, why some paintings are under glass and why some are not, and how different curators hang different rooms.

Across this ten week the course we will also address the history and genesis of the National Gallery building itself in the context of the Collection. The National Gallery has a limited supply of stools available if you need them.

N.B. The meeting point will be shared with students within a week of the start date of the course. It will be the same meeting point every week.

What previous students liked most about this course:
“The tutor knowledge of the subject and explanation of the various periods of art and well known artists."
“It made me look at paintings in a different way and not to make assumptions.”


What will we cover?

Each week, three or four paintings (which have a particular theme) will be analysed in terms of style, subject matter, context, genre and technique.

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

- Identify in appropriate detail and depth, the styles and subject matter of European painting as shown at the National Gallery.
- Give individual examples of different genres and understand the ideas and other factors which prompted their production.
- Recognise different painting techniques and why they have been employed, and the practicalities of using various methods.
- Participate in discussions about the range and limitation of work collected by the National Gallery and state why the collection has grown as it has.

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

This course is suitable for all levels.

You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, handouts and 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 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. You might want to invest in a portable gallery stool.

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

Introduction to the V&A
Introduction to Tate Britain
Islamic art in 25 Objects, at the British Museum and V&A.

Leslie Primo

Leslie Primo has spent more than 15 years giving lectures to the general public at the National Gallery for the Information and Education departments. During this time he graduated with a degree in History of Art and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck, University College of London. In his studies he specialised in early Medieval and Renaissance studies, including, Italian Renaissance Drawing, Art and Architecture in Europe 1250-1400 Art and Architecture in Europe 1400-1500, Medici and Patronage, Narrative Painting in the Age of Giotto, and the work of Peter Paul Rubens focusing on his paintings of the Judgement of Paris, and Greek Myth in paintings. He is also an accredited Art 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.