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This introduction to the history of art provides an overview of the major developments that have shaped and inflected western art from the 1870s through the 1940s.

Focusing on artistic figures such as Monet, Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso or Pollock, this course will explore the key movements that have shaped 19th and 20th century art. It will examine how the art market received a fresh impetus from a new international clientele leading to the establishment of influential galleries such as Wildenstein, Knoedler, or Duveen. Other topics will include the promotion of the Barbizon school and Impressionists by Paul Durand-Ruel, and the Nazi looting of European art collections, and the market for American Abstract Expressionism.

In addition to studying artworks and masterpieces, a unique and distinct feature of the course will be the study of the art markets that have underpinned art production and patronage. By locating the major art historical movements within historical market structures, the course aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the socio-historical contexts in which works were produced, sold and collected during this period.

The course is aimed at individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in the art world, or those who wish to engage in further study at postgraduate level.

This Intensive Course consists of live-streamed lectures and discussions. Recordings of the live sessions are accessible anytime during the course via our online learning platform, Canvas.

Students will learn:

  • To identify, date, and analyze a range of styles and art forms from the Impressionist to Modernist period.
  • To locate and interpret works of arts and artistic movements within their socio-cultural contexts.
  • To decode the complex historical mechanisms that have shaped patronage and the art market.
The Details
  • Course Dates & Fees

    Course Dates & Fees

    January 12 - February 4, 2021
    Tuesdays and Thursdays | 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. GMT
    (1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT)
    Course Fee: £595.00
    All online Intensive Courses are developed in London by Sotheby's Institute faculty, programming staff, and industry experts.
  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    Topics covered in this course may include:

    • Japonisme and the Taste for the Orient

    • Durand Ruel and the “Invention” of Impressionism

    • The Avant-garde and the Art Market

  • How It Works

    How It Works

    Our online Intensive Courses are designed to enrich and deepen your understanding of a specific art world subject in an accelerated and dynamic format. The courses are ideal for undergraduates, career changers, art professionals, and art lovers seeking to learn more about art and cultural history or to acquire specific knowledge/skills.
    Led by art professionals drawn from our global faculty, these courses provide participants with expert insight and practical skills through a combination of livestreamed lectures and group discussion. Course materials and lecture recordings can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via Sotheby’s Institute’s learning platform – Canvas. Canvas is an intuitive, self-contained environment that requires no additional software.
    Once you successfully complete the course, you will receive a verified Certificate of Completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Our digital certificates allow you to share new skills with various social media platforms, including LinkedIn.
  • Faculty


    Barbara Lasic (Faculty, MA in Fine and Decorative Art and Design) has published on the subject of French decorative arts, the history of taste and the history of collecting, and museum architecture. Her research interests include the production and consumption of French decorative arts, 1650-1900, the private and institutional collecting and display of French art, and the intersection of the art market and curatorial practice in the early twentieth century. Prior to her academic career, Barbara worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the curatorial team involved in the redevelopment of the Europe: 1600-1800 galleries, and she held curatorial positions at the Wellcome Trust and the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
  • Register


    Click here to register.

    This course is listed under the Intensive Course option in the online application. Online Intensive Courses are open to anyone 18 years of age and older. Registration takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.
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