Cowley Manor - Gloucestershire, GL53 9NL, United Kingdom

The History of Art Through 10 Great Paintings

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Gain inspiration from the spectacular views at Cowley Manor as you learn about the masters with Tutor Nick Nelson of Arcadia Education.

The Course

In an attempt to further one’s confidence in a gallery setting, this short course of five weekly sessions, represents an introduction to the methodology of art history, and to the varied contexts in which art is produced, used and seen. The aim is to develop the visual skills of observation, description and analysis in a study of art. The techniques of painting will be considered as well as areas such as scale, perspective, shape, colour, tone, line, composition and pattern of works of art. Visual signs, communications and how meanings are formed, why art is created - the interaction of patron and artist will also be studied.

Through top ten masterworks from the National Gallery in London, we will endeavour to decode these great paintings, taking each case study in detail. The sessions will be illustrated with digital imagery, via a laptop and an iPad. Recommended reading lists and course notes will be provided.

We will establish what makes a masterpiece, whilst learning various formulae and methodology for analysing artworks. We will then begin our close focus study on the first of my top ten masterworks from the National Gallery:

The Masterpieces

The Wilton Diptych, Anon.
The Arnolfini Portrait, Jan van Eyck
Rout of San Romano, Paolo Uccello
The Baptism of Christ, Piero della Francesca
Venus and Mars, Sandro Botticelli
Bacchus and Ariadne, Titian
The Ambassadors, Hans Holbein the Younger
Allegory of Venus and Cupid, Agnolo Bronzino
Supper at Emmaus, Caravaggio
Bathers at Asniéres, Georges Seurat

Course Dates

Monday & Tuesdays, 10am - 12pm
£15 per session if booked as a course or £20 per individual date

Monday 6 July
Tuesday 7 July
Monday 13 July
Tuesday 14 July

To book, email or call +44 (0) 1242 870 900