WEEK ONE: 9 - 13 July 2012

Course 4: Helena Pickup

Power and Glory: The Baroque in England, Italy and France 1600-1715



The Baroque style dominated the seventeenth century, used by Church and State as a propaganda vehicle for the Counter-Reformation and absolutism. The Baroque fused the arts to create theatrical, illusionistic ensembles on a vast scale, which retain enormous power over the viewer today.  This course will cover the genesis and development of the style and explore the masterpieces of its most brilliant practitioners, such as Gianlorenzo Bernini, Charles Le Brun and Sir Christopher Wren. The central focus will be on the architecture of Rome, London and Paris but we will also discuss painting, sculpture and decorative art forms - such as the solid silver furniture commissioned by Louis XIV for his State Apartment at Versailles and the Tijou Screen at Hampton Court. We will also look at how Baroque gardens were transformed into outdoor architecture. Finally, we will consider survivals and revivals of the style. Visits include Hampton Court Palace, where we will tour the King’s Apartment, superbly restored to its appearance during the reign of William and Mary; the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, where Sir Christopher Wren created the most magnificent Baroque vista in England; the Print Room of the British Museum and the National Gallery.




WEEK TWO: 16 - 20 July 2012

Course 13: Dr Lucy Jessop

A vision of a new City: Architecture in London, 1660-1715


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

In 1661, John Evelyn described London as having a ‘Congestion of misshapen and extravagant Houses’, set in a labyrinth of narrow and busy streets, full of smoke and smell. It was not what Charles II and his court were used to, returning to London after many years of foreign exile, nor was it what his people, released from the traumas of the Civil War and the strictness of the Commonwealth, demanded. This course will examine many of the projects for making London and its environs a suitable residence for the restored Stuart monarchy, for rebuilding and developing the Cities of London and Westminster, and for creating religious and public buildings which responded to the dominant issues of the age. These projects were mostly overseen by the vision of one man, Sir Christopher Wren, with the assistance of several close colleagues, including Robert Hooke and Nicholas Hawksmoor. Through contemporary texts, drawings and visits, this course will look at some of London’s best-loved buildings - possible visits include Hampton Court Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, some of the City Churches, and the former Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich.

WEEK THREE: 23 - 27 July 2012

Course 22: Dr Matthias Vollmer

17th-century Painting in the Low Countries: The Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish Art


As a result of the religious and political conflicts in the 16th century, the Low Countries were split into two territories with different theological and social developments. In both states, the production of art was strongly determined by patrons. In Flanders, artists like Rubens and Van Dyck celebrated the Catholic Church of the Counter Reformation and the Spanish Hapsburg monarchy with grandiose themes, lively compositions, and vivid colours in portraits, altarpieces, mythological scenes and allegories. The Protestant Republic of the United Netherlands, on the other hand, was dominated mainly by austere Calvinists. Dutch painters like Rembrandt and Jan Steen conveyed moral and often religious messages through elaborate symbolism in land- and seascapes, still life compositions, allegories and scenes of daily life. This course will offer an introduction into the vibrant art and culture of the separated Low Countries in the 17th century. We shall visit the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.