Course Outline

Advanced Modules

Module 1

History of Western Art

As the title suggests this module introduces the course to the student in broad terms. It will introduce artistic styles, specific artistic movements, pivotal paintings and artists. The subject matter will explain painting structure; technique, medium, style, approach and themes from cave decorations to contemporary art. It will include relevant sculptures, applied art and architecture and demonstrate how the works of art are historically and artistically connected.

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  • The Art Appreciation Course

    Author: Stephen Farthing

    Art History

    Earth & Rock

  • The First Civilizations

    Entering the Modern World

    Renaissance to Baroque

    Rococo to Neoclassicism

  • Romanticism to Innovation

    The School of Paris

    The Gradual Revolution

    Making the Modern & Contemporary

Module 2

The Renaissance

Considered by many to be the greatest period of creative and intellectual achievement, the author discusses the Renaissance from its origins in 13th century humanism to the 16th century when the artistic climate in Europe changed dramatically. Focusing on the works by notable artists of the period and discussing styles and themes, the author provides an understanding of the great cultural, intellectual and social transformation that swept across Europe at that time.

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  • Author : Andrew Graham-Dixon

    The Origins of the Renaissance

    Florence & the Renaissance

  • The Renaissance Courts & the Birth of a New Kind of Artist

    The High Renaissance & its Enemies

  • Venice, Melting Pot of the Renaissance

    The End of the Renaissance?

Module 3

Seventeenth Century Art

This module discusses the artistic, religious and cultural movements of the 17th century and how these spread across the continent of Europe. The course will explain the artistic styles of the period and how technical and social advancements inspired the artists and their patrons.

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  • Author : Dr Sheila McTighe

    Baroque, Classic, Realist, ‘Anti-Mannerist’ : Artistic Styles in the 17th Century

  • Religion & the Visual Arts in the 17th Century

    Court Culture & the Arts : Rome, Florence & Madrid

  • Ut Pictura Poesis : Storytelling, Passions of the Soul & Artists’ Status

Module 4

Eighteenth Century Art

The author explores the developments primarily in European fine arts of the 18th century. While the focus will be on painting, other media including drawing, prints and sculpture will be included alongside aspects of landscape gardening and interior design. The module explains how war, religion, commerce and the pursuit of empire came to influence the art and culture of the time.

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  • Author : Dr John Bonehill


    Academies of Art

    Challenges to Academic Values

  • Exhibitions

    The Market for Prints


    Landscape I

  • Urban Views

    Landscape II


Module 5

Nineteenth Century Art

Here the course concentrates on 19th century painting, sculpture, graphic arts, photography, architecture and decorative arts across the western world. The 19th century is a rich period, artistically and historically from the Revolutions in France and America up to the end of the Victorian era; a period when art and artists were influenced by conflict, by industrial advancement, by travel and by the development of consumerism.

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  • Author : Dr Carol Jacobi


  • Romanticism


  • Symbolism


Module 6

The Impressionists & Beyond

The impressionist painters of the 19th century were so influential on the future development of art that they warrant a separate module. The styles, techniques and philosophy of this major movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries will be discussed in detail, as will the artists’ avant garde lifestyles and the public’s initial reaction to what today is recognized as a hugely influential period in art.

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  • Author : Christopher Riopelle

    Setting the Scene for an Artistic Revolution


  • Origins of Impressionism

    The New Painting

    Doubts Creep In

  • Post-Impressionisms

    Impressionism Once More


Module 7

Art Deco & Art Nouveau

The two different and instantly recognizable 20th century styles of Art Nouveau and Art Deco had a great influence on art and design of the period. The styles were both immensely popular and were seen as revolutionary at the time. Their origins, their influences, their global reach and the politics of the time will be explained in this segment of the course.

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  • Author : Dr Paul Atterbury

    Art Nouveau & Art Deco Introduction

    What is Art Nouveau?

    The Origins & Sources of Art Nouveau

    Naming Art Nouveau

    Art Nouveau & International Exhibitions

    Exotic & Colonial Influences on Art Nouveau

    Promoting Art Nouveau

    Art Nouveau Design & Decoration

    Art Nouveau & Architecture

    Art Nouveau & Art

  • Art Nouveau & Politics

    Art Nouveau & Sex

    Art Nouveau & Technology

    Art Nouveau by Country

    Decline of Art Nouveau

    What is Art Deco?

    The Origins of Art Deco

    Naming Art Deco

    Art Deco & International Exhibitions

    Primitive Influences

    Promoting Art Deco

  • Art Deco & Architecture

    Art Deco & Art

    Art Deco & Industrial Design

    Art Deco & Jazz

    Trains, Boats & Planes


    Art Deco & Cinema

    Art Deco by Country

    Art Deco & Politics

Module 8

Cubism, Abstraction, Surrealism

This module discusses important movements in Modern Art evolving at the turn of the 20th century and proliferating through much of the last century. The political turmoil and the unsettling atmosphere of industrial disputes, social upheaval and mechanized warfare are influences seen in the works of art of the day. The author will explain the trends and artistic styles of the times choosing particular works and explaining their importance, their medium and their context.

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  • Author : Professor David Cottington

    Introduction: Modern Times

    Gallery Cubism: Putting Illusionism Through its Paces

    Salon Cubism: Painting Modern Life

    1912-14: Breakthrough to Abstraction

  • From Representation to Abstraction to Abstract Art

    The Russian Avant-Garde: Abstract Art as Realism

    Other paths to abstract art: Kandinsky and Kupka

    Surrealism: The formation of the Avant-Garde

  • Surrealism in the 1920s: Automatism

    Surrealism in the 1930s: Dream Painting

    Surrealism from the 1930s on: Between Genders


Module 9

Modern Art: Post Cubism to 1980

The period of art described as Modern Art in this module starts after Cubism and take us on a rollercoaster artistic ride to the late seventies. The author reveals the extraordinary pace of artistic progress over the decades, introduces the pivotal works of art of this era and places them in their cultural and social context.

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  • Author : Susie Hodge





    The Russian Avant-Garde

    Abstract Art

    German Expressionism

    French Expressionism

    Austrian Expressionism

  • Der Blaue Reiter

    The Bauhaus


    Metaphysical Painting



    Neue Sachlichkeit

    Abstract Expressionism

    Hard Edge Painting

    Post-Painterly Abstraction

  • Nouveau Réalisme

    Pop Art

    Op Art


    Conceptual Art


    Arte Povera



Module 10

Contemporary Art from 1980

The art discussed in this chapter comes from the era after Modern Art and introduces different concepts of art as it is made today, Artworks in their broadest form will be explored; new technologies, new materials and new theories about the nature of art, including film, video, computers, three-dimensional works, live elements and performances. Often at odds with the public and sometimes at odds with the critics, our author explains why these works hold an important place in the development of art in its widest sense.

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  • Author : Anna Moszynska


    The Contested Role of Painting

    Appropriation Art

  • Sculpture and the Public Realm

    The Rise of Installation

    Photography and Art

    Technology: Moving Image Art

  • Ecology and the Body

    Global Concerns

    Art as Social Practice

Module 11

The Art Market

Our expert in this module discusses how to some art has become a commodity and looks at the business of trading art. It will give you an overview of the international art market today, explore the different ways in which art is valued and how the market is subdivided, from paintings, drawings, prints, furniture, sculpture, silver, porcelain and more. You will learn how auction houses, art galleries and dealers work, be given an outline of the major international art markets and will discover the highest priced artists today and the reasons for their popularity.

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Author: Jeremy Eckstein

Defining The Art Market

The Size Of The Art Market

Segmenting The Art Market - By Sector

Segmenting The Art Market - By Value

Why Do People Buy Art?

Segmenting The Art Market - By Geography

Other Centers Of Art Market Activity

  • Primary, Secondary And Tertiary Markets

    The Economic Impact Of The Art Market

    The Auction Houses And The Dealers

    Blurring The Boundaries – The Dealers

    The Auction Houses Re-Visited

    The Dealer’s Response - Art Fairs

    Online Trading

    Market Dynamic – Asymmetry Of Information

  • Navigating The Minefield


    Art As An Asset Class – Investing In Art

    Other Attempts at “Commoditising” Art

    Art As An Asset Class – Art Secured Lending

    Is There A Correct Price For A Work Of Art?

    Art and Technology

    Conclusion - Looking To The Future

  • Module 12

    The Art of North America

    To complete the Art Appreciation course we are taking a close look at the art of North America, from early explorers colonies to nationhood and international recognition. The artist developing the increasing need for independence from the old world of Europe. The module examines the most significant artists in America and Canada, including native art and its influences, explaining the structures and styles over the last 400 odd years pivotal to the creation of their national identities.

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    • Authors

      America: National Identity and National Destiny

      Early settlement to 1680: The Protestant colonies of the Northeast; the plantation South; and the Spanish Southwest

      Transatlantic Reputations

      Revolution and Republic

      Genre Painting: Scenes of Everyday Life

      Romanticism and the Turn Toward Private Imagination

      Nationalism and Landscape Painting

      Economic Expansion, Cosmopolitanism, and Empire

      Expatriate Americans in Europe

      The Early 20th Century: The “Ash Can” Artists

    • The Reception of European Modernism and the Emergance of East Village Bohemia

      American Scene Painting between the Wars

      The New Deal Government Programs for the Arts

      Beyond ‘Social Realism’

      The “Wild” West: Art in Los Angeles and San Francisco

      The Art of the United States: Conclustion

      Canada: United Colonies, Nationhood and International Recognition Canadian Art Before and After 1867

      Impressionism in Canada

      Canadian Art in the Twentieth Century: The War Program, The Group of Seven and Abstract Art in English and French Canada

    • The Group of Seven and Emily Carr

      Beaver Hall, The Canadian Group of Painters,The Contemporary Arts Society

      French Nationalism and the Quiet Revolution: Les Automatistes, The Pasticien Movement, Painters Eleven, Regina Five and Indigenous Art

      1967 One Hundred Years After Confederation: Towards the Art of Today

      Further Reading

      Where to See