The Story of Art

Join artist and art lecturer, Nick Pearson to appreciate the themes, influences and historical events as well as the individual artists that have shaped western art history.

This course takes the form of a series of lively and informative illustrated lectures.

Term one begins in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance and takes us through the 17th and 18th centuries, via the Baroque and Rococo periods (including Caravaggio, Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer) to the Enlightenment and Romantic period (Hogarth, Gainsborough and Reynolds to Delacroix, Constable and Turner)

Term two begins in France in the 19th-century and introduces Realism (e.g. Courbet, Bonheur, Manet), Impressionism (e.g. Monet, Renoir, Pissarro) Post-Impressionism (e.g. Cezanne, Toulouse-Lautrec, van Gogh) and carry on through all the major ‘isms’ ending in the art of the mid-twentieth-century.

Term three continues our journey through art of the twentieth century, looking at Pop Art (eg. Hamilton, Lichtenstein, Warhol), Land Art, Body and Performance art (eg. Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Abramovic, Gilbert & George), Minimalism (eg. Andre, Judd, Kelly) and the return to painting in the 1980s (eg. Caulfield, Kiefer). We then 'complete' the story with art of our own century (eg. Hirst, Emin, Perry) etc

Course Content

Course content (indicative)

Term 1.

1. Course intro + 1.The Middle Ages and International Gothic
2. Early Renaissance in Florence
3. Early Renaissance spreads
4. High Renaissance in Venice and Leonardo da Vinci
5. The High Renaissance Masters: Leonardo and Michelangelo
6. Raphael and The Northern Renaissance
7. Mannerism and Italian Baroque
8. International Baroque
9. Rococo, Canaletto and 18th-century painting in Britain
10. The 19th Century: Romanticism to the 'Literary Realism' of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

Term 2.

11. The 19th century: French Realism
12. Impressionism
13. Post-Impressionism
14. The 20th-century: Cubism
15. The 20th-century: Expressionism
16. Into Abstraction: Mondrian, Kandinsky and others
17. Dada and Surrealism
18. Abstract Expressionism 1
19. Abstract Expressionism 2
20. Art of the Sixties

Term 3.

21. Art of the Sixties and Seventies
22. New Forms – alternative art strategies in the 1970s
23. Art in our own time
24. Beginnings of Modern Design – The Great Exhibition to Art Nouveau
25. Into the 20s: Bauhaus, De Stijl and Russian Consrtuctivism
26. The 1920s and 30s (The Paris Expo and Art Deco)
27. The Modern Movement Spreads (Le Corbusier, Mies van Der Rohe etc)
28. The Rise and Success of Scandinavian Modernism and Design in the Post-War Years
29. Austerity to Optimism – The New Look and The Festival of Britain
30. Postmodern and Contemporary Design

Each lecture will be followed up by email with comprehensive notes
This course of lectures is part of our School of Ideas offer.

Entry Requirements

No prior knowledge or art education required.
Learners may join the course in any of the three terms

First Class Requirements

How to Enrol

Attendance Requirements

How to Pay for Your Course

Additional Information

Other Art History courses.