The Real, the Ideal and the Abstract
Means and Ends of Image-Making in Western Art

During the autumn term, we explore the different ways in which Western artists have engaged with their external and internal worlds over the centuries.  We investigate the philosophies and intentions behind radically different modes of art production, from the representation of a more or less ‘real’ or ideal ‘nature’ to the break-down of figuration in a number of influential avant-garde movements of the twentieth century.


October 5                  
Clare Richardson, Painting in Oil and Tempera: Van Eyck’s Secret?

October 12                
Jim Harris, What Things Look Like: Donatello and the Surfaces of Sculpture

October 19                
Dr Richard Williams, The Image of Elizabeth I: From Idealisation to Deification

October 26                
Edward Payne, Ribera’s Realism

November 2             
Dr Nancy Ireson, From the Beaux-Arts to the Bathers: rethinking early Seurat

November 9             
Nicola Moorby, ‘Pictures of nothing': The development of Turner's late style

November 16           
Dr Satish Padiyar, What is an Ideal Body? Ingres and the Nineteenth-Century Nude

November 23           
Dr Caroline Levitt, Réalités nouvelles: from Cubism to Abstraction

November 30           
Dr Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinski, Abstract Expressionism

December 7             
Dr Sarah James, Scratching the History of Man:  The Real, the Ideal and the Abstract in Two Cold War ‘Photo-Essays’


Europe and the wider world
Artistic exchanges and cross-currents from antiquity to the twentieth century

In the spring term, we investigate how artists throughout history have crossed national and cultural or religious boundaries and have absorbed important stylistic and thematic influences from other traditions.  We explore artistic exchanges both within Europe and between the Western and Eastern worlds.


January 11               
Dr Peter Stewart, From Rome to Afghanistan? The Mystery of Gandhara Sculpture

January 18               
Dr Cecily Hennessy, Syria and its cross-currents

January 25               
Dr Rose Walker, Christian and Islamic Arts in Early Medieval Spain

February 1                
Dr Marta Ajmar, From Turkish carpets to Genoese porcelletta: Globalization and the Domestic Interior in Renaissance Italy

February 8                
Dr Ursula Weekes, The Great Mughals and the Art of Europe

Februrary 15            
Gail Turner, How Spanish is Spanish Art?

February 22             
Dr Richard Williams, Rogier van der Weyden and Italian Renaissance Art

March 1                     
Dr Claire O’Mahony, A Modern Eden: Japonisme in nineteenth-century Art and Design

March 8                     
Dr Michael Douglas-Scott, Renaissance Venice and Print Culture

March 15                  
Dr Julian Stallabrass, The Fracturing of Globalised Art


In Focus
The Medieval and Renaissance Collections at The Courtauld Gallery

The summer term lectures aim to give you detailed insights into a number of outstanding works in The Courtauld Gallery, which will help us to explore important aspects of medieval and Renaissance art production more widely.


May 3                        
Professor John Lowden, Courtauld Ivories and the (Courtauld) Ivories Project

May 10                      
Dr Joanna Cannon, A fourteenth-century panel painting of St Lawrence and an artist with two names: investigating the Maestro di Figline/Master of the Fogg Pietà

May 17                      
Dr Jim Harris, André Beauneveu’s Virgin and Child [please note that this is a change of lecturer]

May 24                      
Dr Scott Nethersole, Sandro Botticelli’s Trinity altarpiece

May 31                      
Dr Stephanie Buck, Renaissance drawings at The Courtauld Gallery



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