Course 19: Dr Rose Walker

The Road to Compostela



top part of a wayside cross from santiago de compostela
Wayside Cross in Santiago de Compostela

‘There are four roads … ’, so begins the ‘Pilgrim’s Guide’ to Santiago de Compostela in the Codex Calixtinus, the manuscript that was stolen from the cathedral in 2011. The text goes on to describe an itinerary of holy bodies; good and bad rivers; places to stay and people to avoid.  Along those same roads some of the finest monuments of Romanesque art came into being.

This course will look at buildings, sculpture and reliquaries at sites along the roads in France and Spain, including the mesmeric image of Sainte-Foy at Conques and the cloisters of Moissac and Santo Domingo de Silos. It will also look at England’s fascination with Santiago de Compostela over the centuries. We will visit the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum, and Reading Abbey where they once claimed to have the arm of St James.


Course 20: Dr Donal Cooper

Renaissance Venice: City and Empire



Renaissance Venice was a melting pot of different cultures and communities. The city drew relics, antiquities and migrants from its maritime empire, a necklace of port cities safeguarding La Serenissima’s trade with the Levant. This course engages with the art and architecture of Venice and its Mediterranean empire between the Fourth Crusade (1204) and the battle of Lepanto (1571). It examines how Venice itself was shaped by the Adriatic and why we encounter the lion of St. Mark in Croatia and Greece. It addresses key artworks within Venice which responded to the experiences of trade, conflict and migration in the Mediterranean, for example: Gentile Bellini’s work for the Scuola Grande di San Marco; Carpaccio’s narrative cycles for the Scuola degli Schiavoni; Titian’s early commissions for the Pesaro family. Beyond Venice, the course surveys Venetian heritage in Dalmatia and on ‘the great island’ of the Venetian sea empire, Crete, asking how metropolitan models of art and architecture were acknowledged in La Serenissima’s colonies. Designed to appeal to those interested in a distinctive view of Venice itself and keen to learn more about Venetian cultural heritage across the Mediterranean, this course includes visits to the National Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.




Course 21: Dr Richard Williams

Van Dyck and Art at the Stuart Court



Anthony van Dyck revolutionised painting in England, transforming the stiff formality of Tudor portraits into dazzling works of art. This, together with patronage of other great artists of the age such as Rubens and Bernini, enabled James I and Charles I to establish the Stuart court as a centre for the arts of European importance. Artists glorified the Stuart kings in new ways, including court entertainments that used revolving stages and trap doors to create breath-taking spectacles. Unrivalled art collections of the greatest works of Titian and other Renaissance masters were formed, which exerted their own influence on Van Dyck and his contemporaries. This course will also consider what part Charles I’s love of the arts played in his downfall, and re-evaluate the fate of the arts under Oliver Cromwell. Recent research has shown that Cromwell’s regime continued to exploit painting and other art forms to further its cause, even adapting Van Dyck’s portraits of King Charles to promote its image at home and abroad. Visits will include the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Banqueting House in Whitehall where many of the court entertainments ('masques') were performed and where Rubens’ great painted ceiling survives in its original location.



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.




Course 23: Dr Susan Jones and Clare Richardson
Please note the change of lecturer.  Due to unforeseeable circumstances Dr Douglas Brine has had to withdraw from the course.  His part will now be taught by Van Eyck expert and Courtauld Visiting lecturer Dr Susan Jones.

Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden: Materials,  Methods and Meanings

The fee for this course is £485 as the group will be limited to 10 students; this also includes the cost of course materials

Please note this is a revised version of ‘Early Netherlandish Painting and Technical Art History’ previously taught by Clare Richardson and Susie Nash in 2009 and 2010

This course will examine Early Netherlandish painting in terms of the materials and methods it employed, and the meanings it delivered, by focusing on its most celebrated practitioners: Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden. Through case studies of such paintings as van Eyck’s enigmatic Arnolfini Portrait and van der Weyden’s haunting Descent from the Cross, we will explore how their extraordinary work achieved its effects and how it was valued and viewed by their patrons. We will trace the artists’ creative processes by investigating the properties and possibilities of oil paint, the manufacture and preparation of panel supports, the design and underdrawing of compositions, and the procedures of paint application. Consideration of the contexts for which paintings were intended will further elucidate their meaning, using the latest research to investigate questions of audience, setting and function. Students will be introduced to the technical research methods employed by art historians to understand panel paintings: original objects will be scrutinised in The Courtauld’s Conservation Studios using microscopy, x-radiography, and infrared reflectography. We will visit The Courtauld Gallery, the National Gallery and the British Museum to look at works by van Eyck and van der Weyden, their contemporaries and followers.



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.




Course 25: Antonia Gatward Cevizli

The Art of the Sultans



portrait of bearded man facing left wearing white turban and red, fur-coloured robe framed by a round arch
Attributed to Gentile Bellini, Portrait of Mehmet II, 1480, National Gallery, London
The skyline of Istanbul is one of the most recognisable in the world. However, the Ottoman artistic tradition tends not to be so widely known. This course will trace the most significant developments of Ottoman art and architecture from the 15th  to the 19th  century. Beginning with the Green Mosque in the former Ottoman capital of Bursa, we will progress to Edirne and then on to that great prize: Istanbul. The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 was a major turning point, changing the way the Ottomans saw themselves and how they were regarded by others. Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror initiated the city’s makeover, which transformed it into the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Our exploration of the art of the sultans will introduce us to patrons of the arts, such as Süleyman the Magnificent, the architect Sinan (often referred to as ‘the Michelangelo of the East’), and the most impressive sites of Istanbul, including the Topkapi Palace and the Süleymaniye Mosque. We will study miniatures first-hand in the British Library, explore the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum’s collections of textiles, Iznik ceramics and metalwork and come face-to-face with Gentile Bellini’s portait of Sultan Mehmed II.



Course 26: Dr Christian Weikop

German Romanticism to Expressionism: From the Nazarenes to the Brücke


This course examines the artistic quest for the origins of Germanic identity, and the romantic-idealist roots of early Expressionism.  Goethe’s essay ‘On German Architecture’ (1772) is our starting point, and we will discuss how his interest in the idea of a Gothic German identity reverberated in the art of the long 19th  century, from the Nazarenes to the Brücke group.  We will consider the ideals of the German Romantic movement, from early organic theories of art to an ‘aesthetics of inwardness’, which might be what unites the work of artists as diverse as Philip Otto Runge and Franz Marc.  The course will cover a wide range of subject matter: from the forest cult in works by artists like Caspar David Friedrich and Ludwig Richter, to the anti-urban ‘back-to-nature’ tradition as seen in the art of Wilhelm Leibl and Paula Modersohn-Becker, and the expressions of a ‘free body culture’ in the Symbolist canvases of artists like Hugo Höppener. We will also investigate the Romantic cult of Albrecht Dürer as ‘the’ German master par excellence, and his influence on both 19th- and early 20th-century German artists.  This course includes visits to the print rooms of the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.




Course 27: Dr Klara Kemp-Welch

East European Art After Stalin


We regret that this course had to be cancelled.

This course offers a survey of modern and contemporary art from the former Soviet Union and from the countries that became Soviet satellites after 1948. Engaging with developments in a range of traditional and experimental media, we explore the shifting relationship between art and ideology since the death of Stalin. What was the role of culture in the Cold War? How were artists in the Soviet ‘bloc’ affected by the historical events of 1956, 1968, and 1989-91? How, under late socialism, did they operate independently in the absence of an art market? To what extent are ‘former-East European’ artists now free of political history? What is at stake in the increased visibility of East European art in the globalised art world today? The course addresses these and other issues through class discussion, slide lectures, film screenings, and visits to exhibitions and displays of modern and contemporary East European art in London galleries, such as Calvert 22, and major collections, such as Tate Modern.