WEEK ONE: 8 - 12 July 2013

Course 5: Professor Deanna Petherbridge

Lines of Sight and Invention: Techniques, Practices and Uses of Western Drawing across the Centuries

The fee for this course is £475 as the group will be limited to 10 students; this also includes the cost of course materials


This course will introduce participants to the ranges of drawing that stretch from rough preliminary sketches to completed visualisations for work in other media. It includes a practical session during which participants will explore the possibilities of different drawing materials and techniques. We will investigate how drawing is the most direct means for observing the world around us or can be an analytical medium for understanding the movement and expressiveness of bodies, the structures of buildings or the salient lines of landscape. And there will be opportunities to think about how lines and marks operate on the page, how they determine expression, render thought into image or reveal ‘the hand’ of the artist.

London is home to an unprecedented range of drawing cabinets and participants will have the chance to view drawings by designers and architects as well as artists; to get very close to the finest examples of historical drawing and visit a drawing studio where an artist caricatures everyday life with wit and economy.  It is hoped that at the end of the course students will be familiar with some major concepts about drawing practice and its theories.

Course 6: Dr Rose Kerr

China: The Arts of a Great Civilisation – from Antiquity to 1911


China has the longest continuous civilisation in the world, stretching back some 5000 years.  The course will trace the origins and development of Chinese art from the Neolithic era down to the end of dynastic rule in 1911.  The first crafts to develop were pottery-making and stone-carving, including finely worked artefacts in jade. China’s great Bronze Age saw the development of sophisticated casting to create bronzes of astonishing complexity.  Works in painting and calligraphy survive from the early centuries AD. These two arts are regarded by the Chinese as the pre-eminent manifestations of culture, and later attained high levels of sophistication. Architecture in China evolved in a whole landscape context, in which the values of fengshui (literally, ‘wind and water’) played a significant role. The history of ceramics includes many world ‘firsts’, such as the emergence of porcelain around AD 700.  A consideration of carvings in wood and jade, and of textiles and fashion, completes a programme that will also discuss China’s influence on Europe, through the export of goods that stimulated a fashion for ‘chinoiseries’ in the West. The course includes a handling session, and visits to the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum.

WEEK TWO: 15 - 19 July 2013

Course 9: Dr Peter Dent

The Art of the Embodied Soul: An Introduction to Sculpture


Sculpture has a reputation as a difficult art, but nothing could be further from the truth. While it certainly makes demands on the mind, it also moves the body. It can engage the beholder in profoundly physical ways that frame our thoughts before they are even formed. In this course, we will explore this sensory and intellectual appeal by examining sculptural techniques, the significance of materials, texture, and colour, and a fascinating mythology that ranges from the automatons of Hephaistos, to the tales of Pygmalion and the Golem. Drawing on the ideas of writers like Pliny, Herder, and Rosalind Krauss, we will investigate different ways of thinking about sculpture. Above all, we will listen to the voice of the sculptor. Cellini, Hildebrand, and Louise Bourgeois, for example, have all spoken about their art. During the week, these ideas and themes will be pursued through a broadly chronological structure running from ancient through to modern art. There will be visits to the British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum and Tate Modern, as well as the opportunity to experience public works in situ. This course is a journey through the art of sculpture: five days, forty sculptures, three collections, and the streets of London.

Course 13: Timothy Wilcox

The Art of Light and Atmosphere: Watercolour Painting in England and Beyond


Watercolour is a medium that achieves an astonishingly wide range of effects and appeals to the professional and amateur artist alike. Rather than thinking of English watercolour painting in artistic isolation and focusing largely on the medium’s technical aspects, we will reconnect it to contemporary contexts of drawing, painting, printmaking and writing. Watercolour painting was of significance to a variety of social and cultural practices, including gardening, travel and tourism, patronage, the rise of art exhibitions and the role of artists’ societies. We will study these rich and varied contexts in conjunction with major works by outstanding English artists, including Paul Sandby, Francis Towne, John Robert Cozens, Thomas Girtin, John Sell Cotman, JMW Turner and Samuel Palmer.  The final day will counter the conventional idea that watercolour painting is a particularly English phenomenon by considering 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.

Course 15: Dr Klara Kemp-Welch

Art and Revolution: East European Art from 1917-1989



This course offers a survey of modern and contemporary art from the former Soviet Union and the Central European Soviet satellites. We will focus on the dynamic relationship of artistic practice to the rise and fall of communism in the Soviet bloc. The first part of the course will explore painting, photography, film and design in the decades following the revolution of 1917, mapping the aspirations of avant-garde figures like Kasimir Malevich, Alexander Rodchenko, Sergei Eisenstein, and Dziga Vertov, and the rationale for the introduction of Socialist Realism as official orthodoxy in 1934. In the second part of the course we will focus on the emergence of non-conformist art in the decades following the denunciation of the Stalinist Cult of Personality by Khrushchev, in 1956. Our discussions will include Tadeusz Kantor’s theatre, International Mail Art practices, and the installations of Ilya Kabakov, among others, and will explore relevant writings by key dissidents such as Vaclav Havel. The course concludes with an examination of the seismic transformations of 1989-91 and their implications for cultural life in the ‘former-East’. Visits include relevant displays in London collections and some of the newer galleries showing East European art, including Calvert 22 and Regina London.

WEEK THREE: 22 - 26 July 2012

Course 17: Dr Eileen Rubery

Beauty and Splendour Piece by Piece: The Art of Mosaics from Antiquity to the Renaissance

The fee for this course is £475 as the group will be limited to 10 students; this also includes the cost of course materials/workshops

The use of coloured fragments of glass, stone, shells and earthenware to decorate floors, walls and ceilings occurs from the earliest of times. Mosaics form a robust, flexible and colourful decoration that also, especially when gold or silver is included, glitters and glows in the light, giving a unique impression of movement and liveliness. We shall consider how mosaics were made and what messages they were intended to convey to the observer. Starting with secular images on floors and in the ruins of Pompeii, we shall move on to look at the earliest Christian examples in Rome and Roman Britain, the mosaics of the Imperial Palace and Byzantine churches of Constantinople, and mosaics from Greece, Rome, Norman Sicily and Renaissance Venice. We shall see how mosaics were used to create some of the most sumptuous and spectacular celebrations of religious and secular power. Visits are to the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum. There will also be three practical sessions in a mosaic workshop, where we will see modern examples and where every student will have the opportunity to make a small mosaic of their own.

Course 23: 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 nineteenth 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 nineteenth- and early twentieth-century German artists. This course includes visits to the print rooms of the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.


WEEK FOUR: 29 July - 2 August 2013


Course 30: Course 30: Dr Mehreen Chida-Razvi

Poetry, Mythology and Elite Life: Royal Persian Painting in the 14th to 19th Centuries



This course will explore the realms of Persian painting during the reigns of the Ilkhanids, Timurids, Safavids and Qajars. We will pay particular attention to iconic illustrated versions of the Persian national epic, the Shahnama, the mythical Iranian ‘Book of Kings’; the great illustrated history of the world created by Rashid al-Din, his Jami al-Tawarikh; the dynamic miniatures in the Kalila wa Dimna, a collection of animal fables, and the wonderful images in poetic manuscripts such as the Khamsa of Nizami. This period also saw the rise of individual artists and we will examine the works of great Persian masters, including Bihzad and Riza Abbasi.  We will explore the increased production of single-page illustrations during this period, and the impact of external artistic styles and techniques on Persian painting, including the arrival of the Mongols to the region in the fourteenth century and the arrival of European arts and artistic technique in the seventeenth. We will further discuss the new trend of realistic representation occurring at this time, and the resultant impact on the creation of the distinctive Qajar style. As part of the course we will visit the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum and the British Library.