This programme of insightful lectures will cover three of the most important elements in acquiring a complete knowledge of the Story of Western Art. It will help to develop a connoisseur's eye by closely studying the techniques and materials used to create masterpieces. We will use focused and careful looking to enhance visual analysis of key works. Through assessing key theories and ideas associated with artworks created between the 14th century and the modern era, this course will add depth to our understanding of Western art. This course stands alone very well for those familiar with these periods, though it perfectly complements our course Stories of European Art: A New Perspective of Art History.
Lecturer: Aliki Braine
This course on the history of western European painting is designed to explore the history of materials and techniques along with their impact on the production and nature of images. Sessions combine informal lectures and practical demonstrations aimed at getting a better understanding of how masterpieces were made throughout the centuries.
The Art of Close Looking
Lecturer: Karly Allen
This course is designed to encourage close, careful observation of selected paintings and drawings from the history of western art. It questions how we habitually look at an image, and introduces tools and approaches for sustained, meaningful looking and visual analysis. By slowing down to focus on only two artworks per session, we explore the details, brushwork and arrangement of each composition, to develop a vocabulary for aesthetic appreciation and independent study.
Art in Theory
Lecturer: Ben Street
The Art in Theory sessions are designed to assess critical theories that provide differing perspectives on the history of western art. These theories include ideas contemporary to the works of art under discussion as well as more recent ideas, aimed at reminding us that art history is a living discipline which is continually under discussion.
What you will discover
A connoisseur’s understanding of artistic techniques and materials, key thoughts and ideas connected with Art History from the Early Renaissance to our Modern times
A developing comprehensive understanding of critical perspectives associated with the Story of Art
A deeper look into specialised insights for those who already have a grounding in Art History
Born in Paris in 1976, Aliki Braine studied at The Ruskin School of Fine Art, Oxford, The Slade School of Fine Art, London and The Courtauld Institute where she was awarded a distinction for her masters in 17th century painting. Aliki has been a regular lecturer at the National Gallery since 2001 and also teaches at the Wallace Collection, Courtauld Gallery and for The Arts Society. She is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Fine Art Photography for the University of the Arts London. Aliki is also a practicing artist who regularly exhibits her photographic work internationally.
A lecturer in art history and observation, Karly Allen uses drawing and mindfulness approaches to foster close looking and engagement with art. She studied at the Ruskin School of Art (University of Oxford) and SOAS (University of London), where she received a masters with distinction in the art of Japan. Karly worked for the National Gallery for 18 years and was formerly Education Manager for the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace. She has lectured widely for UK museum collections for the past 20 years, including the Royal Academy, Courtauld Gallery, Wallace Collection and the V&A. As co-director of Limina Collective, Karly works with an international team of specialists in art-viewing with mindfulness.
Ben Street is an art historian and writer. He has been a lecturer for the National Gallery, Tate, the Royal Academy, Dulwich Picture Gallery and Christie's Education, among other institutions. He is the author of numerous books for general readers, most recently 'How to Enjoy Art' (Yale University Press, released September 2021) and a contributing writer on contemporary art for Apollo, Art Review and the Times Literary Supplement.
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