WEEK ONE: 14-18 July 2014

Course 4: Dr Paula Henderson

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


This course is now FULL

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.

WEEK TWO: 21-25 July 2014

Course 10: Dr Miriam Di Penta

‘The Marvel of the World’: Art and Politics in Baroque Rome

This course is now FULL

Around 1595 two young, ambitious artists moved to Rome from their native cities of Bologna and Milan: Annibale Carracci and Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Thanks to the patronage of cardinals, popes and secular aristocrats, these painters and their pupils would lay the foundations of a new pictorial language. Their individual and opposing classical and naturalist styles, blended with the vital Colorismo of Rubens’ altarpieces of 1608 for the Chiesa Nuova, provided the Catholic Church with a highly effective new instrument of Counter-Reformation propaganda: the glorious art of the Roman Baroque. The course will look at its development from the papacy of Paul V to the triumphs of the Barberini and Chigi pontificates and beyond, with an in-depth analysis of the works of Caravaggio and his circle, the Carraccis, Bernini, Borromini, and Poussin, among others. We will also consider the politics of vision, and the shifting relationship between art, power and tradition. We will discuss the development of art collecting, art criticism and the art market and how the revolutions in philosophy, science and poetry influenced art and society at large. Visits include the National Gallery, Apsley House, the Wallace collection, Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Baroque galleries at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Please note that Dr Di Penta will also lead a Study Tour to Rome from 9 – 12 October 2014, exploring the Baroque in situ.  As always, participation in the tour does not require prior attendance of the Summer School course. [Further information can be found in our Study Tour section on this website].

Course 11: Dr Jerzy Kierkuc-Bielinski
Cabinets of Wonder: A History of Museums in Britain



This course is now FULL

Museums are not, and never were, simple repositories of objects or histories. They are not neutral spaces, but play a central role in how we define ourselves as individuals, cultures and as nations. From the objects that they exhibit, through to their often extraordinary architecture, their formation, function and purpose have always been influenced by economic, political and social pressures. This course will look at the historical development of the modern museum or art gallery. This history will take us from the formation of cabinets of curiosities in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, to the magnificent royal collections of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and the great public institutions of the modern world we are familiar with today. Using specific, historical museums as case studies, and through a series of site visits, we will examine how the architecture of the museum, and the methods of display, as much as the extraordinary objects they showcase, create a rich network of aesthetic and historical meaning.    



Course 12: Dr Ayla Lepine

Art and Architecture in Victorian London from the ‘Battle of the Styles’ to ‘Art for Art’s Sake’


This course is now FULL

close up photo of portal of neo-gothic church
William Butterfield, All Saints, Margaret Street, London, 1849-59, photo ©Ayla Lepine
Victorian art and architecture had an immense impact on London, leaving us with such diverse structures, collections and art movements as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Red House, Leighton House and the Aesthetic Movement, St Pancras Station, Goldsmiths’ Hall, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Houses of Parliament and the Albert Memorial.  Examining all of these legacies closely, this course will encourage students to look afresh at nineteenth-century taste and innovation, and question to what extent Victorian art and architecture relied on old traditions to convey modern values. Both in the classroom and in a series of visits to London buildings and art collections, students will consider different approaches to this important period in British history.

Students will have unique opportunities to engage first-hand with the forms and functions of buildings and objects, using collections held in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Tate Britain and the RIBA to gain in-depth understanding of nineteenth-century art and ideas. Decorative arts, interior design, fashion and the popular press will also be taken into account. By looking closely and applying an array of art historical methodologies, we will engage with fundamental ideas about beauty, labour and commerce when London was at the centre of the world’s largest empire.

Course 14: Dr Matthias Vollmer

17th-century Painting in the Low Countries: The Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish Art


This course is now FULL

As a result of the religious and political conflicts in the sixteenth 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 seventeenth century. We shall visit the National Gallery, the British Museum and the Dulwich Picture Gallery.

WEEK THREE: 28 July - 1 August 2014

Course 21: 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.

WEEK FOUR: 4 - 8 August 2014

Course 28: Dr Lucy Jessop

A Vision of a New City: Architecture in London, 1660-1715


In 1661, John Evelyn described London as having a ‘Congestion of misshapen and extravagant Houses’, set in a labyrinth of narrow and busy streets, full of smoke and smell. It was not what Charles II and his court were used to, returning to London after many years of foreign exile, nor was it what his people, released from the traumas of the Civil War and the strictness of the Commonwealth, demanded. This course will examine many of the projects for making London and its environs a suitable residence for the restored Stuart monarchy, for rebuilding and developing the Cities of London and Westminster, and for creating religious and public buildings which responded to the dominant issues of the age. These projects were mostly overseen by the vision of one man, Sir Christopher Wren, with the assistance of several close colleagues, including Robert Hooke and Nicholas Hawksmoor. Through contemporary texts, drawings and visits, this course will look at some of London’s best-loved buildings - possible visits include Hampton Court Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, some of the City Churches, and the former Royal Hospital for Seamen at Greenwich.