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Great Artists and Great Paintings: 1400 – 2000

To truly understand and appreciate great works of art, it is best to delve into the lives, work and society of the artists. In this course, not only gain an appreciation of the greatest masterpieces of Western art from 1400-2000AD, discover the very artist behind them; while exploring the intricate link between art, history and society.

Course Outline

The course is organised over a series of sessions, focusing on individual artists, specific paintings, and artistic periods. Each week the session focuses on two specific artists and one of their masterpieces, before branching off into the wider art history and social history of the artist and their times. The specific artists and paintings are studied, in-depth, but the purpose of the course is to use these artists and their paintings to discuss wider developments in the history of art and the social history of art.

The specific artists and paintings covered by the course are:

  • Session 1 – Sandro Botticelli -La Primavera
  • Session 1 – Michelangelo – The Last Judgement
  • Session 2 – Rembrandt van Rijn -The Night Watch
  • Session 2 – Artemisia Gentileschi – Judith Slaying Holofernes
  • Session 3 – Francisco Goya – The Third of May 1808
  • Session 3 – William Blake – Nebuchadnezzar
  • Session 4 – Auguste Renoir – Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre
  • Session 4 – Vincent van Gogh – Sunflowers
  • Session 5 – Pablo Picasso -Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
  • Session 5 – Frida Kahlo – Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird
  • Session 6 – Jackson Pollock – Number 11, 1952
  • Session 6 – Sidney Nolan, The Trial of Ned Kelly

The specific art history periods covered by the course are:

  • Renaissance – 1300 – c. 1602
  • Dutch Golden Age painting – 1585 – 1702
  • Baroque – 1600 – 1730
  • Romanticism −1780 – 1850
  • Impressionism – 1860 – 1890
  • Post-Impressionism – 1886 – 1905
  • Cubism – 1907-1920s
  • Mexican Muralism – 1920s-1940s
  • Abstract Expressionism – 1940s-1950s

Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course you should be able to:

  • have knowledge of the history of art and the social history of art.
  • have knowledge of several important artists and art movements between 1400 and 2000.
  • have knowledge of the development of art within modern history.
  • have knowledge of the wider social issues and social developments which affect art and the history of art.
  • have knowledge of how art and the history of art has shaped history.

Who Should Enrol

The course is designed for anyone who is interested in learning about the history of art.