Online courses > short courses > History of Art
Art captures the spirit of an age. Whether you are looking at Holbeinâ€™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.
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. [NB: This course was previously called ‘Northern Renaissance Art c.1480-1580’]
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. This course was previously run under the name Visual Arts of India.
This course is for anyone interested in understanding Islamic art and culture, by examining the relationship between Islamic faith and various art forms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. [NB: This course was previously called ‘Northern Renaissance Art: Methods and Meanings’]