The beginnings of Impressionism: the Barbizon School

Course Dates: 23/11/23 - 14/12/23
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Location: Keeley Street
Who said the Impressionists were the first to paint ‘en plein air’? Get lost in wood and green and light and shade in the large forest of Fontainebleau near Paris and learn about a group of 19th-century painters who influenced the Impressionists in the art of painting landscape outside.
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Full fee £99.00 Senior fee £79.00 Concession £64.00

Course Code: VB922

Thu, day, 23 Nov - 14 Dec '23

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

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What is the course about?

We will try and imagine what it was like as a painter to be artistically enthralled and immersed in trees, foliage, plants, valleys, views and shadows, as the Barbizon painter sought to capture local landscapes in paint. The Barbizon School was a loose affiliation of painters working from the 1830s-1870s who lived and worked in the village of Barbizon, where you can still see their homes and studios today. We will explore some of their art, including the work of artists such as Narcisse Diaz, Jules Dupré, Theódore Rousseau, Constant Troyon, Jean-François Millet and Camille Corot. We will consider how they chose to reject the classical conventions of painting found in the work of Claude and Poussin and hoped to re-vitalise an approach that was freeing and quotidian, which are the qualities we often associate with Impressionism.

What will we cover?

• The techniques of the artists
• What they painted, where they painted and what they were interested in
• Why their art and their name has been superseded by that of the Impressionists
• Their homes, studios and friendships.

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

• Discuss the work and technique of some landscapes painted by the Barbizon School
• Identify the approach of some of the Barbizon painters and their pictorial approach
• Evaluate why some artistic groups linger longer in the imagination than others.

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, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.

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

You will be taught with lecture, slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course; these handouts will be available online/digitally for download via the college’s Google Classroom. You will be sent an invitation to join the Google Classroom within a week of the course start date.

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

You might wish to purchase a notebook for taking notes. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list provided.

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

Modern art: movements 1850-1900
The Victorians: art, fashion and architecture
The Bloomsbury Group: art & design.

Emma Rose Barber

Emma Rose Barber is an art historian who has been teaching adults for over 25 years. She specialises in the visual culture of the Middle Ages and the Italian and Northern Renaissance. She has also taught classes on British art and has designed many different courses such as Last Suppers in Florence and Bosch, Breughel and the Surrealists. She has also given lectures on Women and Art. She used to run the history of art department at the British Institute in Florence and works for many institutions such as the Open University, Morley College and the department of continuing education at the University of Oxford. Her book – 111 Churches that you Shouldn’t Miss in London - is coming out in the autumn of 2020. She has spent the last five years with a Mini A-Z looking for churches to write about, many of which can be found on her blog – She is also writing a Cultural History of Wayfaring and writes articles for Selvedge Magazine.

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.