Art and Architecture in England in 18th Century

Ref: C2224550

The second half of the eighteenth century saw the rise of some of the most famous artists in British art. Reynolds and Gainsborough are renowned for their portraits but they were more varied in their output than just likenesses. Stubbs painted horses with a realism that had never been achieved before, while Joseph Wright explored the dramatic and emotional power of light. Artists such as Wright were part of the age of Sensibility. In architecture the influence of the classical world became stronger than ever, but there was a new elegance and inventiveness in the work of Adam and his contemporaries. At the same time Capability Brown was creating his landscapes, but he was not alone, and garden design became more varied. And sculpture also took on classicism in new way. A hugely varied era with plenty to explore and discover.

Additional information about this course


Course aim

A survey of the art, architecture and sculpture of the second half of the eighteenth century, including Reynolds, Gainsborough and Adam.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Recognise the contributions to portraiture of Reynolds and Gainsborough
  • Describe the significance of history painting in the eighteenth century
  • Identify the characteristics of Neo-Classicism in architecture and sculpture
  • Appreciate the work of artists, architects and sculptors in the later eighteenth century in greater depth

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Nothing is required, though reading is always useful. Also you might like to visit some relevant site such as Tate Britain or Osterley Park (National Trust) to get a flavour of the era.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full Course information sheet

Art and Architecture in England in 18th Century


You can if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • are paying the standard fee or are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • are paying with a credit/debit card or are not paying a fee because of a qualifying benefit
  • have a valid email address
  • have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2017
  • have read and accept the standard terms and conditions
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