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Meeting mornings and afternoons, four days a week, this intensive course explores four extraordinary centuries in the history of European art, from the High Renaissance of the early sixteenth century to the Avant-Garde movements of the early twentieth. The course has a broadly chronological structure, within which key themes and issues will be explored under the guidance of a succession of expert tutors. There will be a focus on paintings and sculpture, and on the works of masters such as Michelangelo, Titian, Holbein, Caravaggio, Bernini, Rubens, Claude, Poussin, Watteau, Hogarth, Tiepolo, Delacroix, Turner, Manet, Monet, Whistler, Matisse and Van Gogh. Along the journey students will explore the impact of the classical past; the interrelationship between stylistic developments, materials and technique; questions of production, consumption and the market; and the broader cultural, intellectual and historical context in which certain kinds of art emerged. Continuities in the Western art tradition are explored alongside challenges, change and renewal.

A schedule of visits to galleries and museums in London, as well as a day trip to a gallery or stately home outside of London, form an integral part of the experience. This is because the teaching approach at Sotheby’s Institute of Art emphasizes object-based learning, enabling students to gain confidence in identifying and evaluating a wide range of different works of art: we believe that firsthand experience of those works of art is irreplaceable, and London contains exceptional venues for that experience.

The ultimate aim is to provide students with an understanding of a rich, exciting and crucial phase in the development of European art, while also developing their critical and visual capacities. The course attempts to foster skills appropriate to careers in the art world.

The Details
  • Course Dates

    Course Dates

    Session 1: June 3 - 28, 2019
    Session 2: July 1 - 26, 2019

    Typical hours: Monday-Thursday, 10am – 4.30pm

    Enrollment for this course is now closed. Please write to if interested in our 2020 summer program.
  • Faculty


    Diana Newall, Course Leader, Summer Program, London and Faculty, Online Courses
  • Sample Topics And Suggested Reading

    Sample Topics And Suggested Reading

    • High Renaissance Italian Painting: disegno versus colore

    • High Renaissance Sculpture, Drawings and Tapestries

    • Mannerism in Italy

    • Baroque Painting in Italy and Flanders

    • The Dutch Golden Age

    • European Rococo

    • Neo Classicism: Sculpture and Painting

    • The Art Market for Old Master Paintings

    • Romanticism

    • 19th century painting in France and England

    • Realism

    • Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

    • Fauvism, Cubism,

    • Expressionism and Symbolism

    Suggested Reading

    Anne D’Alleva, How to write art history (2006)
    Diana Newall, Appreciating art (2008)
  • Credits And Assessment

    Credits And Assessment

    Academic Credits
    Four-week summer courses are validated by The University of Manchester. Students completing one four-week Summer Study course are awarded 20 University of Manchester undergraduate credits.

    Students are assessed by a slide test, essay and oral presentation. These are intended not only to assist students in their understanding of the subject matter of the course but also in developing a range of skills useful for work in the art world.
  • Visits And Field Trips

    Visits And Field Trips

    The course makes full use of London’s world class art collections. A variety of faculty-led visits to museums and galleries forms an integral part of the learning experience.

    Sample venues:

    • Tate Britain

    • National Gallery

    • Wallace Collection

    • Victoria and Albert Museum

    • National Portrait Gallery

    • Courtauld Galleries

  • FAQ


    Click here to read Summer Study London FAQ.
  • Course Fees

    Course Fees

    £5,000 for 2 4-week courses

    Click here to read Terms and Conditions.
  • Further Information

    Further Information

    For further information, please contact: or Request Information
    Tel: +44 (0)20 7462 3251

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