The history of Western art in 100 paintings

Course Dates: 11/10/23 - 27/03/24
Time: 10:30 - 13:30
Location: Off Site
A chronological introduction to Western art from c.1250 to the present day, taught by looking at artworks in London’s galleries, and related materials.
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Full fee £579.00 Senior fee £463.00 Concession £376.00

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The history of Western art in 100 paintings
This course is full
  • Course Code: VB221
  • Dates: 11/10/23 - 27/03/24
  • Time: 10:30 - 13:30
  • Taught: Wed, Daytime
  • Duration: 19 sessions (over 25 weeks)
  • Location: Off Site
  • Tutor: Julia Musgrave

Course Code: VB221

Full Wed, day, 11 Oct - 27 Mar '24

Duration: 19 sessions (over 25 weeks)

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

What is the course about?

This gallery-based art history course aims to give a chronological overview of the history of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present through a 100 key works. We will explore: artists’ processes, materials and techniques; the historical context in which they worked; styles and movements, as well as developing ways of discussing paintings.

In the first term, we will look at the Gothic, Italian Renaissance, Northern Renaissance, High Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque. In the second term, we will look at Rococo, Neo-classicism, Romanticism, Impressionism, post-Impressionism, Fauvism and the other ‘isms’ of the early 20th Century.

The main artworks to be discussed are all in London art museums including: the National Gallery, the V&A, the Wallace Collection, the Courtauld Gallery Tate Britain and Tate Modern.

A list of meeting points will be emailed to you within a week of the start of the course. This course does not meet on the following dates: 25 Oct; 13 Dec; 20 Dec; 27 Dec; 3 Jan; 10 Jan; 14 Feb.

What will we cover?

- The major styles/movements/periods in western art history from 1250 to the early 20th century through key works and key artists
- The socio-cultural background to each period
- How to recognise which period an art work belongs to
- Artists’ processes, materials, and techniques
- Analysing a painting.

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

- List most of the major styles/movements/periods in western art history from 1250 to now
-Identify the period and artist of at least 10 key works in London collections
- Describe (in brief) the socio-cultural background to each period
-Give three examples of the links between painting and the decorative arts
- Define several key terms like ‘egg tempera,’ ‘sfumato’ ‘glaze’, ‘scumble’ etc.

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.

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 buy 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. In each session we take a half hour tea/coffee break in the gallery coffee shop to rest our legs and discuss what we have seen.

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

A history of modern art in 50 objects
A history of art in 100 objects.

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.