Art of the Ancient World

Course details


Mon 10 Feb 2020
10.15am - 4.00pm

Art of the Ancient World


To be held in conjunction with the WEA at the Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead, SL6 4PF.

This study day will introduce some of the great artistic achievements of the ancient world. We will cover 4 separate cultures: Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome, through an in-depth investigation of a handful of major art works from those places. We will endeavour to find the similarities and differences between these worlds, investigating how the art was used and what it can tell us about the people who made it.



Programme details


Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, Maidenhead SL6 4PF


10.00am Registration

10.15am  Ancient Egypt

This section will briefly introduce the world famous Giza pyramids and monuments from the Old Kingdom. The spectacular finds from the tomb of Tutankhamun will also be investigated as well as the paintings made to decorate the much smaller tombs made for lesser mortals, notably the tombs of Rekhmire and Nebamum.

11.15am Break

11.40am Mesopotamia

Arguably, civilisation began not in Egypt but in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern day Iraq. We will concentrate on art made by the people from this region, known as Mesopotamia. Spectacular art made for the Royal cemeteries at Ur will be explored and the major iron-age monuments associated with the royal palace of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, including the Lion Hunt sculptures will form a highlight of this hour.

12.40pm Lunch

1.40pm Greece

Western art takes as its starting point the classical buildings and sculptures of ancient Greece. This section will explore some of the heights of achievement of these people, including the sculptures from the Parthenon and Temple of Zeus at Olympia, free standing figure sculpture and vase painting in both black figure and red figure styles.

2.40pm Break

3.00pm Rome

We will finish with an investigation of some of the highlights of ancient Roman artists. We will take a brief look at some of the major structures of the city of Rome, but will concentrate on smaller, more domestic art associated with the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. This will include some spectacular examples of wall painting and mosaics.

4.00pm Close

Lunch can be pre-ordered from the café-bar. Please note that consumption of your own food and drink is not permitted on the premises at Norden Farm.




Tuition: £38.00


Cheques payable to WEA Maidenhead Branch. Please indicate if a receipt, syllabus or venue map is required and enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope or give your e-mail address on the enrolment form.



Mrs Sandra Smith

Course Tutor

Sandra Smith has a BA and MA in Art History and a Certificate in Archaeology. She teaches A Level Art History and has taught adult education classes for fourteen years for the WEA, University of Reading and University of Oxford.


Teaching methods

Four one hour lecture sessions, with some time for discussion.



Early enrolment is advised as class numbers are limited. For enrolment, further information or booking problems please contact:

Steph Diggon (WEA), 19, Gorse Road, Cookham, SL6 9LL.
Email: or Telephone: 01628 527465.

Please email or phone Steph to check course availability and to reserve places. Steph will confirm if there are spaces and ask you to send your application form and cheque, payable to WEA, to her at the address above. Cheques will not be cashed until after 1 August 2019.

Please indicate if a receipt, syllabus or venue map is required and enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope or give your e-mail address on the enrolment form. Courses which are under-subscribed may be cancelled and fees paid refunded.