Byzantine Art

Ref: C2224921

A look at the splendour of Byzantine mosaics, their iconography and purpose, development of church decoration, and debates for and against the use of icons.

Course aim

A brief outline of the history of Byzantine Art and a detailed look at the development of church decoration and the cult of icons.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Explain the principles of Byzantine church decoration
  • Discuss the pros and cons of icon veneration
  • Make more of visits to many places in eg Greece and other countries of Orthodox Christianity

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
  • Discussion and comparison of visual material is integral to this course. Students may like to visit Orthodox churches in the region (suggestions given) to see how icons are used in worship

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • There will be questions about the examples illustrated, and comparative material. Questions and discussion invited, private study encouraged.

What else do I need to know?

  • you may like to take a few notes, especially of book titles and/or of places to visit.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • The course is a good introduction to the study of art history in general, and of a less well known area of general history. It often proves an impetus to travel to see some of the objects/ buildings in situ or in museums.

Download full Course information sheet

Byzantine Art


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  • 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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