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Study Week: What Was the High Renaissance? - non-credit bearing


FIRST CLASS: Monday 23 May 2022, 11am-4pm


This one-week short course consists of expert lectures and discussions to explore the question: what was the High Renaissance? During the week, you will develop your understanding of art of the Renaissance through close analysis and discussion of the work of a range of artists. We will also reflect on the debates and art historical thinking that has shaped ‘Renaissance’ as a label. We aim to include guided visits around key London museums and galleries if conditions allow; this will be confirmed before the start of the course.

The course is delivered by the art historian Michael Douglas-Scott, who has taught within the department for many years. Teaching will be face-to-face in the classroom, unless circumstances dictate otherwise. It is intended that the course include visits to museums and galleries, assuming this is possible.

The ‘High Renaissance’ as a term dates from the nineteenth century but the concept goes back to the sixteenth. At that time, it was claimed that the 30 years around 1500 had witnessed a pinnacle of artistic achievement in Italy represented by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. This achievement has never been placed in doubt but its relationship to the rest of the Renaissance has.

We ask:

  • Was the High Renaissance the culmination of fifteenth-century artistic developments and how does subsequent ‘Mannerism’ link to this?
  • How ‘classical’ was it?
  • Is it a coherent style category?

Join us in seeking answers to these questions as we test the concept against concrete historical examples both in lecture and discussion sessions and close examination of a range of paintings and sculptures.

The course is non-credit-bearing, which means there is no formal assessment, though your tutor will ask you to be prepared to join in class discussion.

This course is non-credit bearing, so carries no credit points.

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This course is suitable for anyone with an interest in art history. No prior study of art history is expected, though you should be able to read and discuss your ideas in English.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis – so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.