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Durer and the Northern Renaissance


There are no classes currently available for registration.


Our short course, Dürer and the Northern Renaissance, focuses on Dürer as a key figure in the transformation of Northern European painting and the graphic arts. It coincides with the long-awaited National Gallery exhibition Dürer’s Journeys, the first major exhibition of this important artist for some time.

The course is taught by the art historian Clare Ford-Wille, who has taught and researched in this area for many years. Teaching will be in-person in the classroom, unless circumstances change, and will be supported by our online learning platform.

On this course you will develop your understanding of the career of this intriguing and versatile artist and his contemporaries in Northern Europe between 1440 and 1540. This was a period of significant social, political and economic change. The Reformation and split between the Protestant and Catholic churches created a new context for religious art. As well as religious subjects, Dürer and his contemporaries met the diverse interests of their patrons with prints and drawings as well as paintings that ranged across portraiture, studies from nature and landscapes.

Through his travels back and forth to Italy, Dürer played an important role in bringing ideas from the Italian Renaissance north and adapting them for Northern European audiences. We will seek to understand the social, political and artistic context of his work and the role he played in connecting the art traditions of Northern and Southern Europe.

The course covers a range of interesting topics including:

  • Dürer’s encounters with the art of Renaissance Italy
  • the development of his practice across a range of media, particularly print
  • comparative study of his contemporaries, such as Lochner and Cranach
  • reflection on the impact of the Reformation on art practice in Northern Europe
  • reflection on the social, economic and political changes that took place over the period 1440 to 1540 and how this impacted on art practice.

You can email us directly with questions about this course or any of our other art history courses.

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.