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


We regret that due to circumstances beyond our control this course had to be cancelled.

detail of close up of woman's head in profile red chalk
Beni Ferenczy, Female Head, detail, red chalk, The Courtauld Gallery, London
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


detail of watercolour of river scene with beach in foreground and town in background
Thomas Girtin, View of Appledore, detail, 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. 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.


WEEK THREE: 22 - 26 July 2013

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


mosaic of a large figure of a winged angel in long white robes, striding, half-turned to left, holding a globe in the right and a sceptre in the left hand
Angel from an apsidal mosaic, Church of Kiti, Cyprus, © Robin Cormack
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 21: Dr Antonia Gatward Cevizli

The Art of the Sultans: Ottoman Art and Architecture


black and white archive photograph of the skyline of Istanbul

Istanbul, photograph © The Courtauld Institute of Art

The skyline of Istanbul is one of the most recognisable in the world. However, the Ottoman artistic tradition tends to be less widely known. This course traces the most significant developments of Ottoman art and architecture from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries. From 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 discover Ottoman carpets in the paintings of the National Gallery and explore the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum’s collections of textiles, Iznik ceramics and metalwork as well as coming face-to-face with Gentile Bellini’s portrait of Sultan Mehmed II.


WEEK FOUR: 29 July - 2 August 2013

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.