Study Tours are exclusive opportunities to spend from 2 to 5 intensive days with an expert in the field looking at works of art first hand, often with special access to collections or monuments.   

Tour fees are £250 for a 2-day trip, £400 for 3 days, £500 for 4 days and £625 for 5 days.    An additional £25 per tour is charged where we make extensive use of private coaches and/or are obliged to hire an approved local guide to accompany our lecturers.

The fee for these tours includes tuition, entry to all museum and sites, and transport between sites in the respective city or to destinations within the vicinity.   It does not include travel to and from the city/main destination of the tour or accommodation:

students are free to make their own arrangements. Study Tours are limited to a maximum of 12 students.

Terms and conditions

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Study tours 2012

under the sun: modern artists on the french riviera


Dr Caroline Levitt

Friday 12 – Sunday 14 October 2012


This tour is now FULL.  Please contact us if you would like to be added to a waiting list.


The French Riviera was a particularly fertile region for artists at the start of the twentieth century. Much-loved figures from Matisse to Chagall lived in and around Nice, and the Côte d’Azur bears testament to their productive creativity. On this three-day study tour, we will think specifically about the ways in which artists like Chagall, Cocteau, Léger, Matisse and Picasso found particular freedom for their artistic practice in this region, and will focus on the development of their ideas and techniques beyond painting and sculpture to incorporate mosaics, stained glass, ceramics and frescos. An intriguing side-theme will emerge: that of artists involved in designing and decorating chapels in the years following the Second World War. Visits will include: the museums dedicated to Matisse and Chagall in Nice, to Léger in Biot and to Picasso in Antibes; chapels decorated by Matisse, Picasso and Cocteau in Vence, Vallauris and Villefranche-sur-mer; and the remarkable Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. We will be based in Nice and travel by public transport.

hidden sicily: the north west


James McDonaugh

Monday 15 – Friday 19 October 2012


This tour is now FULL.  Please contact us if you would like to be added to a waiting list.


This tour focuses on north western Sicily and a number of sights well off the beaten tourist track. We will spend 3 nights in the beautiful and dramatically situated medieval hill town of Erice and one night in Agrigento. Our span of history will be wide, taking in works of art and architecture from the island’s Phoenician, Norman and Baroque eras.  The ancient Greeks will be a particular focus for us as we visit the two greatest ancient ruins on the island: Selinunte and Agrigento.  We will also give special consideration to Arab rule in Sicily when we visit Trapani and Marsala.  One afternoon will be given to a fabulous walk through Sicily’s most beautiful nature reserve, the Riserva dello Zingaro.  We will visit an olive oil estate where we will have a private lunch.  The tour will be of equal interest to those who know the island well and wish to explore its hidden gems and to the first-time visitor.

rome: politics, power and religion from the birth of christianity until 1300

Dr Eileen Rubery

Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 October 2012


This tour is now FULL.  Please contact us if you would like to be added to a waiting list.


This three-day study tour will explore important sites in Rome from the period of St Peter and Saint Paul’s arrival in the city to the removal of the papacy to France at the beginning of the 14th century.  We will discuss the ‘Christianisation’ of Rome following Constantine the Great’s arrival and explore how art in Rome reflected struggles with the Eastern Empire over the nature of the balance between Christ’s humanity and divinity.  What effect did the Papacy’s defence of iconoclasm have on Roman art?  What did art in Carolingian Rome look like? Visits aim to include the church of S Maria Antiqua, (a complete church from the 6th- 9th centuries, full of frescoes with many Eastern features, including the only Western example of tetramorph angels) which is not normally open to the public; the catacombs of Saint Priscilla (which include many of the earliest Christian images from the 3rd and 4th centuries) and the Pope’s sancta sanctorum, the lavishly decorated private chapel of the Popes in the Lateran complex; also with restricted access.



previous study tours this year:


byzantine istanbul

Dr Cecily Hennessy

Wednesday 28 March - Saturday 31 March 2012


The great city of Constantinople lay at the heart of Byzantium and was to surpass Rome in its wealth and reputation. We examine the political and religious sites that remain in Istanbul, one of the most beautifully situated cities and itself a vibrant and fascinating centre. Visits include secular architecture, such as the massive city walls and a huge underground cistern, several former churches, including the legendary 6th -century church of Hagia Sophia and the Kariye Camii with its brilliant mosaics, as well as the vestiges of the renowned imperial palace and the fine archaeological museum. We also visit less well-known sites, such as the Fetiye Camii with its exquisite late Byzantine decorations, and examine the influence of Byzantium on the great Ottoman architect of the 16th  century, Sinan.

This course may be taken in conjunction with the trip to Cappadocia or separate from it.

With optional link to


byzantine cappadocia

Dr Cecily Hennessy

Sunday 1 April – Wednesday 4 April 2012


In the heart of central Turkey, the region of Cappadocia has an astonishing landscape with stunning rock creations which contain a wealth of rock cut churches and monasteries from the Byzantine period. Many of these were painted with expressive and beautifully coloured paintings. Significant in preserving iconography and painting styles from the early years of Byzantium perhaps even from before Iconoclasm, the region also has key paintings from the 10th  to 12th  centuries. We will be based in Göreme, which itself has a group of important churches and take day excursions to valleys in the area to see some of the lesser known sites. There will be some walking, which may be steep and rugged.

This course may be taken in conjunction with the trip to Istanbul or separate from it.


the art of perugia and the valle umbra during the fifteenth century


Dr Scott Nethersole

Friday 1 – Sunday 3 June 2012


detail of a frescoed view of Perugia's towers by Bonfigli
Despite its exceptional quality and beauty, most of the quattrocento art of the valle Umbra is generally only considered in relation to the occasional excursion of a Florentine or Sienese artist: the ‘Renaissance’ is seen to have been brought to the region by a foreigner and taken up by his provincial followers. This situation changes with the arrival on the scene of Perugino, native to the area, but trained in Florence. We will adopt a different approach. Based in Perugia, we will closely examine painting, sculpture and the decorative arts of this central region and place the art of Perugino into context, by considering those generations of painters who preceded him, among them Benedetto Bonfigli, Bartolomeo Caporali, or Fiorenzo di Lorenzo.  We will contemplate the works of artists from outside Perugia, such as Gentile da Fabriano, Fra Angelico or Agostino di Duccio, but we will do so by asking what actual relationship existed between the apparent centre and so-called periphery. We will visit the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria and the many churches and secular buildings scattered around the city.  We also intend to travel out across the valle Umbra to see the Palazzo Trinci at Foligno and San Francesco at Montefalco.

norwegian sensibilities: the oslo of ibsen, munch and vigeland


Dr Elena Kashina

Friday 15 – Sunday 17 June 2012


photo of brighly lit Oslo street in vertical formatThe trip to Oslo will focus on the period from the 1870s to the 1950s. The last decades of the nineteenth century saw Norway actively sharing in the pan-European elation of re-discovering and re-defining national identities.  In Norway, this was underscored by an intensifying drive towards national independence, after centuries of being ruled by Denmark (1536 – 1814) and then by Sweden (1814 – 1905). During our visits we will explore a distinctly indigenous tradition, expressed in paintings, sculpture and architecture, and in a language which represents a meeting of the broader European cultural expression and of Norway’s very own sensibilities. We shall start by visiting the National Gallery, and proceed to the Museum of Decorative Arts.

The Munch Museum will offer an insight into a Norwegian interpretation of early twentieth- century aesthetics. Sculptural work by Gustav Vigeland, set in Oslo’s largest landscaped park, presents a reflection on the human condition, arguably informed by the historically forlorn nature of Norwegian lifestyle and by post-war reconstruction. Finally, the Oslo City Hall is a monument to Norway’s cultural and civic achievement. Raised on the site of a notorious slum area, it has a unique character symbolic of a unity of national romanticism and functionality.


dreaming spires and pre-raphaelite scholars: victorian oxford

Dr Ayla Lepine

Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 September 2012



Please note that due to circumstances beyond her control, Dr Lepine will be unable to accompany this tour.  It will now be led by Dr Carol Jacobi, an acknowledged authority on the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and Victorian visual culture more widely

From William Holman-Hunt’s The Light of the World in Keble College to the tapestries of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones in Exeter College, Oxford is rich in Victorian history and objects. The Oxford Union’s Arthurian murals by Morris, Rossetti, Faulkner and Burne-Jones represented an important beginning for what would become Morris & Company. The Ashmolean Museum and its Pre-Raphaelite art collection can be explored alongside Deane and Woodward’s Natural History Museum. The latter was strongly influenced by John Ruskin, who lectured at the university and gave his name to the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. Walter Pater, who coined the phrase ‘art for art’s sake’ and wrote The Renaissance, was a favourite tutor of Oscar Wilde. Magdalene, Wilde’s college, employed the architects G. F. Bodley and Thomas Garner to design St. Swithun’s Quadrangle, one of the most sophisticated Victorian buildings in Oxford. Its complexity is comparable to T. G. Jackson’s Examination Schools in a Jacobean style, and Bodley and Garner’s Gothic Revival work for Christ Church College and its cathedral, which also features Morris & Co. stained glass. The city of ‘dreaming spires’ affords an extraordinary opportunity to experience the beauty and innovation of Victorian art and architecture.

historic gardens of the cotswolds

Dr Paula Henderson

Friday 21 – Sunday 23 September 2012


photo of view into Hidcote manor gardens through an open terrace doorThe Cotswold hills, with their mellow stone cottages, elegant manor houses, and imposing castles, have some of the most important historic gardens in England.  This study trip will concentrate on gardens from the late 17th century to the early 20th century, beginning with a visit to Badminton House (home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort), which is rarely open to the public.  On Saturday, we will start at Croome Park, ‘Capability’ Brown’s first complete commission and the one on which he continued working throughout his life.  In the afternoon we will visit two of the quirkiest English landscape gardens: Painswick Rococo Garden and Sezincote, a ‘Hindoo’ garden, partially attributed to Humphry Repton. Finally, on Sunday, we will concentrate on 20th -century gardens: Snowshill, an early Arts and Crafts garden; Hidcote, described by Vita Sackville-West as a ‘flawless example of what a garden should be’; and Kiftsgate, a dramatically sited garden created and maintained by three generations of the same family.  Because of the distances involved, we will travel together by coach. The meeting point will be in Stow-on-the-Wold, which has hotels and B&Bs in all price ranges. 




Dr Cecily Hennessy obtained a PhD in Byzantine art at The Courtauld in 2001.  She has taught at universities in the USA and the UK and was Head of Short Courses and Adult Learning at The Courtauld before joining Christie’s Education as a lecturer in 2006.  Her book Images of Children in Byzantium was published in 2008. She has published various articles, including a section on the topography of Constantinople in The Oxford Handbook of Byzantium (2008) and one on young people in Byzantium in the Wiley-Blackwell A Companion to Byzantium (2010). An article on paintings in Istanbul is forthcoming.

James McDonaugh
has an MA in philosophy and theology from Oxford University, and an MA in architectural history from The Courtauld. His research and lecturing interests focus on Italy, Greece and Turkey. Since 2003 he has worked for numerous academic groups and touring companies and in 2008 he set up his own touring company – Art Tours Ltd - dedicated to taking groups on cultural tours all over Europe and beyond. He regularly takes tours to Sicily, most recently in 2011 for The Courtauld.

Dr Elena Kashina studied for her MPhil in Mediaeval Viking and Scandinavian Studies at the University of Oslo, following an award of a scholarship by the Research Council of Norway and gained her PhD in the History of Art at Leeds in 2007. Her scholarly interests include changes of traditional iconographies in 16th-century Russia, in their political and cultural context, and the history of artistic patronage, with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. Her current research focuses on contributing to the edited collection on 'Representing the Past in the Nineteenth Century’, to be published by Ashgate in 2015.

Dr Ayla Lepine lectures and publishes widely on British art and architecture from c.1850 to the present. A Visiting Lecturer at The Courtauld since 2008, she obtained her PhD in 2011. She has also taught at the Victoria and Albert Museum, King’s College London, and Warwick University. She works part-time as a historic buildings researcher for Donald Insall Associates and has a particular interest in heritage and conservation. Her current research concerns the Gothic Revival and internationalism, overlaps between architecture and poetics, and intersections between faith and the arts. Her recent publications have appeared in the Burlington Magazine, Whitehot, and the Architects’ Journal.

Dr Caroline Levitt lectures at The Courtauld, where she obtained her PhD in 2009 and where she specialises in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century French art and literature. Caroline is fascinated by the use artists make of artistic and non-artistic practices and her research interests range from the varied work of Le Corbusier and the involvement of artists in architecture and media other than oil painting, to the interaction of artists and poets through book illustration, studio spaces and Surrealism. She is currently working on a book that examines artists’ incidental ‘illustration’ of pre-published texts.

Dr Scott Nethersole took his doctorate at The Courtauld on the subject of ‘The Representation of Violence in Fifteenth-century Florence’.  While writing his PhD he held the Michael Bromberg Fellowship in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum.  From 2008 to 2010, he was the Harry M Weinrebe Curatorial Assistant at the National Gallery, London, before returning to The Courtauld to take up the post of Lecturer in Italian Renaissance Art in September 2010. He curated the exhibition Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500 at the National Gallery in summer 2011.

Dr Eileen Rubery came to Art History after a career in Medicine and the Civil Service.  She completed her MA in Byzantine and Medieval Art at The Courtauld in 2002.  Her current research is on aspects of patronage of the Popes in Byzantine Rome, and their relationship with the Eastern Empire. Eileen has published several papers on aspects of this subject and also on the early cult of the Virgin Mary and on Byzantine Empresses.  She lectures for Cambridge University Institute of Continuing Education, the Victoria and Albert Museum  and Birkbeck (University of London).

Dr Paula Henderson has an MA and PhD in architectural history from The Courtauld. She lectures widely in Britain and in the United States and has published over thirty articles on English houses and their settings.  Her book, The Tudor House and Garden: architecture and landscape in the 16th and early 17th centuries (Yale University Press), won the Berger Prize for the outstanding contribution to the history of British art for 2005. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.  She and her husband have lived (and gardened) in the Cotswolds for almost thirty years.