The history and meaning of portraiture

Course Dates: 22/01/19 - 26/03/19
Time: 10:30 - 12:40
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Leslie Primo

Examine the changing face of the portrait in art history from the early Renaissance to the present. Look at how and why its meaning and function have changed over the years and why artists are still drawn to it despite photography.

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  • The history and meaning of portraiture

The history and meaning of portraiture

  • The history and meaning of portraiture

What is the course about?

We’ll explore some of the key portraits in art history and explore how the portrait’s meaning and function have changed since the Renaissance. We’ll explore whether a portrait has to convey an accurate likeness and how artists go about trying to convey “character”. We’ll also examine how a self-portrait might differ from a portrait of other sitters: can we tell by the scrutiny of the gaze whether a portrait is a self-portrait? We’ll also consider why the portrait continues to endure despite photography.

What will we cover?

- Why the portrait became such a popular genre at the time it did
- The different styles of portraiture
- How portraits convey meaning
- How portraits convey character.

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

- Identify different art historical styles in portraiture
- Demonstrate an understanding of the motifs and symbolism associated with portraiture
- Demonstrate an awareness of the contextual art historical movements of portraits we examine.

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

This is an introductory course.

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. You should be able to use numbers and be able to do simple measurements and calculations.

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

Slide presentations, class discussion, notes and individual assistance.

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

A notebook and pen.

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

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Sorry, this course is now full

Course Code: VB234

Full Tue, day, 22 Jan - 26 Mar '19

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Full fee: £249.00
Senior fee: £199.00
Concession: £152.00

Please note: we offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. For more information visit our online Help Center. You can also visit the Information, Advice and Guidance drop-in service, open from 12 – 6.45, Monday to Friday.