What is the course about?
What was it like to be an artist in Britain during the 18th century? The century saw the emergence of a British school of painting and the Royal Academy opened its doors in 1768 with Sir Joshua Reynolds as President. The R.A. provided life drawing classes for male artists and an opportunity to exhibit their work in annual exhibitions. How did artists respond to these changes? Patrons continued to expect a flattering portrait, but artists increasingly sought to bring something of themselves to their work. For Reynolds, this was a new approach to classicism inspired by the Grand Tour, whilst Gainsborough sought to pursue his passion for landscape. William Hogarth brought domestic genre painting to a wide audience through the medium of printing. By the 1780s, British male painters were among the wealthiest men in the country. But what did the century bring for female artists?
This one-day course is part of a series, looking at art in Britain in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Includes gallery visit.
What will we cover?
• An overview of the key historical, political and cultural events of the 18th century
• An introduction to the leading artists of the period working in Britain
• An opportunity to study significant commissions undertaken by different artists, to analyse and discuss the works of art and think critically about the artist’s concepts, working methods and intentions.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- List at least 3 artists of the 18th century and recognise key features of their style
- Discuss how you might evaluate a painting from the period and identify elements which would have been important to both the patron and the artist
- Identify important changes in the way art was being produced by the end of the century.
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 slide presentation, group and individual discussion, and a guided gallery visit.
Please note we are unable to guarantee stools in the galleries that we will visit so you may have to stand and to walk between artworks.
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?
The other courses in this series are:
VB605 Think Like an Artist: in 17th Century Britain
VB607 Think Like an Artist: in 19th Century Britain
You might also be interested in:
VB622 - Art walks: printmaking in 18th century London
VB181 - The art and culture of 18th century London.
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