Course 1: Dr Rose Walker

The Road to Compostela

£455

NB the fee for this course does not include the cost of travelling to Ely; students are free to make their own arrangements.

This course is now FULL


top part of a stone 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 and sculpture at sites along the roads in France and Spain. We will examine the idea of a ‘pilgrimage church’ in relation to Santiago de Compostela, Sainte-Foy-de-Conques, and St Sernin-de-Toulouse. How did processions and liturgy use cloisters like Moissac and Santo Domingo de Silos? How did reliquaries, above all the mesmeric image of Sainte-Foy at Conques, embody a relationship with their community and with pilgrims?  In London we will visit the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Library. The course will also consider England’s fascination with Santiago de Compostela over the centuries and pilgrimage in England through a visit to Ely Cathedral, where we will be accompanied by the distinguished scholar of medieval architecture, Professor Paul Crossley.

 

 



Course 2: Dr Janet Robson

A Tale of Two Cities: Florence, Siena and the Birth of Renaissance Art

£455

detail of two saints pointing to the  Virgin and Child enthroned
Bernardo Daddi, The Virgin and Child enthroned, triptych, detail, 1338, © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London
Ever since Giorgio Vasari in the sixteenth century championed Cimabue and Giotto as the first great Italian artists, Florence has been proclaimed as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. But how accurate is this idea? Despite the fame of Giotto, his style was not the only one favoured in his native city, nor was painting in early Renaissance Italy completely dominated by Florentines. Sienese artists were just as successful, even winning major commissions from Florentine patrons. This course will reassess the relative contributions of Florence and Siena in the renewal of Italian painting between c.1280 and 1348. We will examine panel paintings and frescoes created by leading artists from the two rival cities, including the Florentines Cimabue, Giotto, Taddeo Gaddi and Bernardo Daddi, and the Sienese masters Duccio, Simone Martini, and Ambrogio and Pietro Lorenzetti. Can their work usefully be characterized as ‘Florentine’ or ‘Sienese’? Or was the style of painting produced in the two cities determined by other factors, such as the function of the work, its patrons and viewers? The course will include visits to the National Gallery and The Courtauld Gallery.

 


Course 3: Dr Susan Jones and Clare Richardson

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

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 is now FULL

 

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 4: Dr Paula Henderson

Shakespeare’s London: Art, Architecture and Places of Pleasure

£455

This course is now FULL


detail from a sixteenteenth-century handcoloured map with the

Braun and Hogenberg map of London, 1572. Private collection

William Shakespeare lived in London during the decades before and after the turn of the 17th century, a ‘golden age’ for the city. While London had become overcrowded, increasingly squalid and plague-ridden, it was also the epicentre of wealth, opportunity and fashion.  Courtiers and aristocrats, aware of the benefits of royal patronage and the amusements of the metropolis, acquired grand mansions, which they complemented with fine gardens and orchards.  Although very little survives, we will try to create a vivid picture of the ‘flower of Cities all’ by analyzing the earliest maps of the city, portraiture, decorative arts, costume, architecture and finally the larger urban landscape.  We will also consider the many ‘places of pleasure’ that were enjoyed by Londoners from all strata of society:  sporting grounds, the theatres visited by an estimated 15,000 Londoners each week, the arenas used for the brutal spectacles of cock-fighting, bear- and bull-baiting, and, finally, the public spaces that were so rapidly being swallowed up by development. Visits will include the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Charterhouse, The Globe, The Museum of London and Middle Temple Hall.

 


Course 5: Dr Lois Oliver

Paris: Art, Audiences and the Avant-Garde, c. 1863-1900

£455

NEW COURSE

This course is now FULL

 

This course explores the extraordinary artistic developments that took place in Paris in the second half of the nineteenth century, as artists responded to a city in transformation. While Baron Haussmann’s major rebuilding programme modernised the urban environment, the swelling ranks of the bourgeoisie enjoyed new prosperity and leisure time, becoming avid consumers of novel forms of entertainment and an increasingly influential force in the art market.

Artists responded to this social and cultural modernity with innovative subject matter and ways of painting that frequently shocked the gallery-going public. We explore the relationship between avant-garde art and the work of the Old Masters, and consider the importance of nineteenth-century exhibition culture and art as spectacle. We also examine how artists themselves became increasingly popular subjects for literature, theatre and opera.   

A direct engagement with art is a major feature of the programme.  We will make full use of the magnificent collections of The Courtauld Institute, the National Gallery, and the British Museum to examine at first hand the work of key artists including Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Georges Seurat, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent Van Gogh.



Course 6: Dr Natalia Murray

Russian Art 1863-1932: Innovations, Influences and the Roots of Modernity

£455

This course is now FULL

 

This course examines the history of Russian art in all its diversity from the first artists’ rebellion against St. Petersburg’s almighty Art Academy in 1863, the blossoming of arts in Russia’s ‘Silver Age’, to the upsurge of avant-garde art and its subsequent disappearance after 1932, when Socialist Realism became the only artistic style permitted in the Soviet Union. We will look at the cultural as well as geographical boundaries of Russian art, and its contact with developments in European art  as well as the shifts of cultural context, which often occurred through emigration, cultural export, exhibitions, publications, and collaborations.  The complex nature of the Russian avant-garde, its origins and roots, will be examined throughout the course. We will also look at traditional Russian art and icons and their influence on the Russian avant-garde, and will discuss the works of Repin, Serov, Benois, Bakst, Somov, Vrubel, Malevich, Tatlin, Kandinsky, Filonov, Rodchenko, Chagall, Popova, and others.  Lastly, we will examine the influence of political changes in Russia under Stalin on the development of Russian art. Visits include the Victoria and Albert Museum (Ballets Russes drawings and stage designs); the Naum Gabo archive at Tate Britain; the British Museum, and The Courtauld Gallery.

 


Course 7: Dr Richard Cork

Making it New: Modernism in the Early 20th Century

£455

This course is now FULL


With seismic explosiveness, young artists across Europe changed the course of painting and sculpture soon after the new century began. A series of revolutionary movements erupted, beginning with Fauvism in France and Expressionism in Germany. The Italian Futurists were the most clamorous but the Cubists in Paris proved the most far-reaching. Then, in 1914, London was shocked by the advent of Vorticism and its rumbustious magazine BLAST. This course explores the rebellious momentum of an exciting period. However, it terminates in the tragedy of the First World War when many avant-garde artists found themselves caught up in a blood-bath. Visits include The Courtauld Gallery’s display of twentieth-century art, Tate Modern, the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art and the Imperial War Museum.

 

 


 

Course 8: Dr Katie Hill

Contemporary  Chinese Art: Practices and Debates from 1989 to the Present

£455

NEW COURSE

close up photo of pagoda-like art object
Temple of Heaven, Rainy Season, photograph, 2001, © Wu Gaozhong

This course offers a survey of contemporary Chinese art starting with the first major exhibition held in Beijing in 1989. We will focus on movements in contemporary art concurrent with rapid urbanisation and economic developments in China during the 1990s.  The course will trace China’s relationship with the international art world as it emerged during a decade of globalisation, and explore the Chinese avant-garde’s quest to find a distinct artistic voice. Following decades of Socialist Realism, contemporary Chinese art is characterised by a diversification of media and by the re-emergence of classical forms and ideas in art practice. We will consider a wide range of artistic expression, from photography, installation, and performance to painting and sculpture. Finally, the course will cover the phenomenon of the new Chinese art world that emerged at the turn of the millennium and evolved rapidly with the rise of art districts, new museums, auction houses and galleries.  Throughout, we will focus closely on works by a number of key artists, including Yang Fudong, Ai Weiwei and Zeng Fanzhi, and place the development of contemporary Chinese art, and its relations to the international art world in the context of the country’s challenging political and cultural situation.