Renaissance Art and Harewood House

Ref: C3679930

Harewood House offers a rare opportunity to see examples of Renaissance art at first hand, here in West Yorkshire! Through works in the Harewood collection we will explore what "Renaissance art" means: Analysis of individual works will help us to establish artistic characteristics, conventions, themes and influences common to Renaissance artists, whilst also comparing and contrasting artworks both within the collection and with well-known examples of Renaissance art elsewhere. We will further consider the unique context of Harewood House for Renaissance art, exploring how and why Renaissance art arrived here, alongside how it is interpreted, valued and presented. We will finally explore Renaissance influences on Harewood House in the broader visual and applied arts, considering the continuing significance of continental Renaissance art in this English country house setting.

Course aim

To introduce the appreciation of Renaissance art from exploring Harewood House and its collection; whilst considering the unique history and context of display at this independent, country house setting.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners
  • This course is for improvers
  • This course is for beginners and improvers

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

  • Identify at least three key themes or features of Renaissance art and discuss how these apply to works in the Harewood House collection (identifying subject-matter, materials and techniques, as well as particular contexts of production)
  • Suggest which particular aspects of Renaissance art are most strongly reflected in the Harewood House collection, and why
  • Identify the influence of Renaissance visual culture in the architecture and decorative arts around the house
  • Consider possible motivations for owning and displaying Renaissance art and influences at Harewood, in relation to broader collecting trends in England from the eighteenth century to today
  • Engage in debates on how the history and ownership of the house, collections and art, frame the way we see the art, architecture and decorative arts at Harewood House today (including difficult histories involving the slave trade)

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

You will need: - an internet connection, speakers, microphone and webcam to use our video learning platform, Zoom. - a personal email address to join the WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas, for resources and communication

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

Renaissance Art and Harewood House


This course is funded by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and only applicable postcode areas are permitted to enrol.

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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