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Art captures the spirit of an age. Whether you are looking at Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII or the latest Turner Prize winner, a Gothic cathedral or a Mughal palace, learning to analyse and to interpret these objects and spaces offers a glimpse into lost worlds and new perspectives on your own. Our art history courses include introductions to looking at and understanding painting and architecture, as well as courses focussing on particular periods or contexts from the Renaissance to the Indian subcontinent.

Art Nouveau Across Europe (Online)

From Paris to Moscow and from Glasgow to Barcelona, this course examines the richness and variety of European Art Nouveau. The years around 1900 were marked by an explosion of creativity as a new generation of artists and designers sought to invent a new style to suit a new century.
Listen to Dr Charlotte Ashby talking about the course
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Durer to Bruegel: Northern Renaissance Art c.1480-1580 (Online)

This course serves as a sequel to the course ‘Van Eyck to Memling: Northern Renaissance Art c.1430-1480’, but also stands as a self-contained course. The ten sessions explore the riches of Northern European art from c.1480-1580; artists including Dürer, Bosch, Holbein and Bruegel will be studied, as well as the prints and sculpture of the period.
Listen to Dr Victoria Mier talking about the course
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here. [NB: This course was previously called ‘Northern Renaissance Art c.1480-1580’]

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Indian Art: A History (Online)

The god Shiva dancing in a ring of fire and the white marble Taj Mahal are two of the most famous images from the rich artistic heritage of the Indian Subcontinent. This course will examine the great diversity of art produced in South Asia over two thousand years, relating it to the contemporary religious and political environment.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here. This course was previously run under the name Visual Arts of India.

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Islamic Art and Architecture (Online)

This course is for anyone interested in understanding Islamic art and culture, by examining the relationship between Islamic faith and various art forms.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Italian Renaissance Art c.1400-c.1500 (Online)

From Bellini and Botticelli to tapestry and tableware, the material culture of the Italian Renaissance continues to fascinate us to this day. This course is an opportunity to explore a wide variety of art forms and to discover more about the cultural, social and historical background that made this period so unique.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Learning to Look at Modern Art (Online)

Many people feel that Modern Art, from 1900 to the present day, is more difficult to understand than art of the past. By looking at and discussing a wide range of works, this course will aim to provide guidelines about how to understand and appreciate Modern Art better and how to discover continuity between the art of earlier periods and our own.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Learning to Look at the Visual Arts (Online)

Have you ever looked at a picture in a museum or gallery and been able to see and feel its characteristics but not had the vocabulary to put your thoughts into words? This course offers you the opportunity to learn how to study and analyse paintings, drawings and prints and learn the 'language of looking' to communicate your appreciation of art.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Learning to Look at Western Architecture (Online)

This course is designed to enable students to ‘read’ the architecture of the Western world in a critically informed way. You will learn to recognise and differentiate between the major architectural styles of the western tradition – and will thus gain a greater understanding of the way that buildings are built, and why they look the way they do.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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The Impressionists: Painting Modern Life (Online)

This course introduces the groundbreaking group of painters in nineteenth-century France. It examines the major concerns of artists such as Cézanne, Monet, Manet and Degas and their intimate interaction with modern life. It expands to embrace the impact of women Impressionists such as Cassatt & Morisot, and investigates the trans-national impact of Impressionism. Van Gogh, Gauguin, Post-Impressionism, and the Impressionists’ creative techniques, are examined, analysed and interpreted.
Listen to Dr Jan Cox talking about the course
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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Van Eyck to Memling: Northern Renaissance Art c.1430-1480 (Online)

The work of Northern Renaissance artists is often incredibly beautiful, with marvellous colours and textures conjured up from their hallmark technique of oil painting. Yet there is much more to the work of Jan van Eyck, his contemporaries and their followers, than simple aesthetics, for it evolved from, and reflected, an intriguing range of religious and cultural beliefs. This online course will explore some of the fascination of these images and their meanings.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here. [NB: This course was previously called ‘Northern Renaissance Art: Methods and Meanings’]

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Western Architecture: The Modern Era (Online)

This course explores the architectural genesis of the modern world. Beginning with the vital structural innovations of the late Victorian era, the course traces the rise and spread of Modernism in European and American architecture - and concludes by examining contemporary architecture and future possibilities.
For information on how the courses work, and a link to our course demonstration site, please click here.

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