WEEK ONE: 9-13 July 2012


Course 1: Dr Cecily Hennessy

Nike to Angel: The Inception of Early Christian Art


Christian imagery is central to our knowledge and experience of western art during the past two millennia.  This course explores the origins and influences of that imagery as it appears in wall paintings and monumental mosaics, in ivories, metalwork and manuscripts. In order to gain a perspective on its roots and influences, we look at key images and symbols from the pre-Christian world. We analyse their meanings and significance and discuss how they gained new interpretations when borrowed and adapted for fundamental aspects of Christian iconography. We also examine the role of art in religious belief and practice, focusing on key sites, such as Dura Europas in modern Syria and fascinating late antique cities, such as Ravenna, Rome and Constantinople as well as questioning major visual concepts such as the representation of Christ and of the Virgin. Visits include a special handling session at the British Museum.


If you are interested in early Christian art, you might also benefit from Dr Eileen Rubery's study tour to Rome, Rome : Politics, Power and Religion from the Birth

of Christianity until 1300, Wednesday 24 – Friday 26 October 2012 (please see Study Tours on our website).

WEEK ONE: 9 - 13 July 2012


Course 6: Dr Paula Henderson

Landscape as Art


detail of an engraved view of the Latona fountain in Versailles Palace gardens

Jean le Pautre, Vue du Bassin de Latone dans les jardins de Versailles en 1678, engraving

Is a garden ‘Art’? Can an historic garden be analysed in the same way as a painting or a building?  In spite of the fact that gardens are the most fugitive of art forms, they were often created by artists, architects or designers and they generally conform to the ‘style’ and aesthetic of a particular period.  The study of gardens – through their remains or contemporary visual images and descriptions – provides insights into the culture in which they were created, into the economics of labour and land use and into the social hierarchies and behaviour demonstrated by their use (aspects that are part of the expanded interests of art historians as well).  Gardens reflect and are revealed in literature, drama and painting. Yet, experiencing a garden was and is different from other art forms, incorporating all five senses and movement by the viewer: gardens have always been ‘performance art’.  Lectures on the art historical analysis of gardens will be complemented by visits to the National Gallery, the Museum of Garden History and important historic gardens, including a full-day outing to Rousham and Stowe.

Please note that Dr Henderson is also leading a garden tour, Historic Gardens of the Cotswolds, Friday 21 – Sunday 23 September 2012

WEEK TWO: 16 - 20 July 2012

Course 12: Dr Cecily Hennessy

City of Splendour: Art and Society in Constantinople


Constantinople was the political and artistic capital of Byzantium for over a thousand years, celebrated for its legendary wealth and ceremony. This course traces its development from the time of Constantine to its fall in 1453, exploring the visual heritage of this renowned city. It was enriched with palaces, adorned with magnificent churches and celebrated as the centre for manuscript illumination and myriad forms of mosaic decoration, wall-painting, metal work and ivory production. Patronage in Byzantium lay often with imperial powers and the aristocracy but also with the Church and monasteries. We discuss this in relation to the complex manifestations of political and religious power in the city and its empire, exploring the major buildings, such as Haghia Sophia and the Kariye Camii as well as the finest examples of artistic production. Visits include a special handling session at the British Library, among others..

Please note Dr Hennessy's related study tour to Byzantine Istanbul, Wednesday 28 March - Saturday 31 March 2012, with optional link to Byzantine Cappadocia, Sunday 1 April - Wednesday 4 April 2012 (please see Study Tours on our website)


WEEK TWO: 16 - 20 July 2012


Course 17: Dr Ayla Lepine

Art and Architecture in Victorian London from the ‘Battle of the Styles’ to ‘Art for Art’s Sake’


Victorian art and architecture had an immense impact on London, leaving us with such diverse structures, collections and art movements as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Red House, Leighton House and the Aesthetic Movement, St Pancras Station, Goldsmiths’ Hall, the V&A, the Houses of Parliament and the Albert Memorial.  Examining all of these legacies closely, this course will encourage students to look afresh at nineteenth-century taste and innovation, and question to what extent Victorian art and architecture relied on old traditions to convey modern values. Both in the classroom and in a series of visits to London buildings and art collections, students will consider different approaches to this important period in British history.

Students will have unique opportunities to engage first-hand with the forms and functions of buildings and objects, using collections held in the V&A, Tate Britain and the RIBA to gain in-depth understanding of nineteenth-century art and ideas. Decorative arts, interior design, fashion and the popular press will also be taken into account. By looking closely and applying an array of art historical methodologies, we will engage with fundamental ideas about beauty, labour and commerce when London was at the centre of the world’s largest empire.


Please note that Ayla Lepine will also lead a study tour to Victorian Oxford,

Dreaming Spires and Pre-Raphaelite Scholars: Victorian Oxford, Saturday 15 – Sunday 16 September 2012 (please see Study Tours on our website).