Course Start DatesTuesday 3rd March 2020
About the Course
An introduction to the Renaissance Art in Northern Europe, c.1420 - 1540. Explore styles, techniques, pictorial genres in Flanders, Germany, England, and investigate the personality and cultural background of great artists for the period.
A course to explore art in Northern Europe, 1500 – 1648. We will study styles, techniques, pictorial genres in Flanders, Germany, and England, as well as investigate issues of patronage and taste, society and religion, through the lens of the works of the greatest Northern artists, such as Dürer, Holbein, Brueghel, Rubens, and Van Dyck. The course combines two sessions at Morley College with three visits to the National Gallery, London. Perfect for beginners with no background in art history and eager to learn more about historic art, as well as excellent for returning students willing to improve and expand their knowledge.
We will start with the early Renaissance Flemish painter Jan van Eyck’s pioneering realism through his mastery of the oil painting technique. We will focus on the genius of the German Renaissance artist Dürer and his transformation of the woodcut and engraving medium into high art. You will learn about the contrasting arts of the Spanish-ruled southern Netherlands with the newly emancipated, Protestant Republic of Holland where Dutch ‘genre’ painting evolved. We will focus on Rembrandt, van Dyck and Rubens within this historical context, and will examine many representative works at first hand in London collections.
You will be able to distinguish between Flemish and Dutch paintings, and will gain an understanding of techniques in oil painting, drawing, woodcut, engraving and etching as practised by the greatest as well as lesser known ‘genre’ masters.
By the end of the course you will be able to
explain which seminal works and artists formed Northern art in 1500 – 1648
understand different techniques (e.g. painting, sculpture, printmaking)
identify different pictorial genres (e.g. portraiture, landscape painting, genre painting, narrative painting) and describe their key features
identify and interpret styles and techniques from direct observation
identify and describe compositional schemes
understand issues in the conservation of historic art
Class format and activities
The sessions will be held at Morley College, the British Museum Print Room, the National Gallery (twice), and the Wallace Collection.
At Morley the lecture will slide based and you will have opportunities for discussion in small groups and as a class. Activities will also include a few simple practical tasks that help you gain more confidence in describing and analysing works of art.
On location a preliminary talk will be followed by open discussion and active learning in which a task will be set, encouraging independent and creative responses to the art works seen at first hand.
In order to ensure that you make the best possible progress on your course, you will have regular feedback from your tutor, in a constructive and supportive environment.
What you need to know before you enrol
Gallery visits will require to stand, walk and view and discuss artworks. This will involve a basic level of physical stamina. Folding stools are usually available in the galleries.
What you will need for your class
You may wish to bring a notepad and pen to take notes.
What you can do next:
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