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.


WEEK TWO: 16 - 20 July 2012

Course 15: Timothy Wilcox

Intimate and Bold: Watercolour Painting in England and Beyond


detail of Girtin watercolour view of Appledore across the mouth of a river

Thomas Girtin, View of Appledore, North Devon, c. 1798, © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

Watercolour is a medium that achieves an astonishingly wide range of effects and appeals to the professional and amateur artist alike. We will study it in relation to a variety of social and cultural contexts, including gardening, travel and tourism, the rise of exhibitions and the role of artists’ clubs.  Furthermore, rather than thinking of English watercolour painting in artistic isolation and focusing largely on the technical aspects of the medium, we will reconnect it to a continuum involving not just drawing and painting but also printmaking and writing.  From Monday to Thursday, each lecture is concentrated on a single work by a notable English artist, including Paul Sandby, Francis Towne, John Robert Cozens, Thomas Girtin, John Sell Cotman, JMW Turner and Samuel Palmer and explores how watercolour painting can be the focus of a wide variety of analytical approaches.  Watercolour painting is traditionally seen as a particularly English cultural tradition.  The final day will open out the field with a discussion of watercolour traditions in Scotland, in continental Europe and in the USA and will conclude with a session on the international status of watercolour in the modern era.



WEEK THREE: 23 - 27 July 2012

Course 24: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott

Art and Print Culture in Renaissance Venice



composite image of details of perspective from Serlio's second book and from Bordone's Bathsheba Bathing
l: detail Sebastiano Serlio, Secondo libro di prospettiva; r: detail Paris Bordone, Bathsheba Bathing, ©Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

Renaissance Venice was a global hub of information and communication. This position was strengthened in the late 15th  century with the establishment of printing houses there. Venice was to become the most significant centre for the production of printed texts and images in Europe for a century. The rise of the printing industry provided opportunities for artists and architects working in the city. This involved not just book illustration and print-making but personal friendships with writers and publishers, cheaper and more varied source material and ultimately a more powerful position vis-à-vis their clients in a growing art market. This course will focus on how artists and architects responded to this radically new order. How did the colour-based tradition of Venetian painters like Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian and Veronese adapt to the modern, black-and-white age of mechanical reproduction? How did Palladio and others use printing to spread the language of classical architecture? In addition to lectures and seminars there will be more object-based classes during visits to The Courtauld Gallery print room, the National Gallery, the British Museum and the British Library.