History - The Northern Renaissance 1380-1580

Ref: C2339057

Between 1380 and 1580 northern Europe witnessed a period of intellectual curiosity about the individual and the natural world which produced some of the most exquisite art of all time. It was also a period of political, religious and social turmoil, which profoundly changed the way people lived and thought. These sessions explore the fascinating art, times and personalities that were ‘The Northern Renaissance’.

Course aim

To study the historical context and some of the significant lives and events of the Northern Renaissance from about 1380-1580.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No prior knowledge is required, just an interest in history and a willingness to participate in group discussion and learning.

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

  • demonstrate an increased knowledge of the key events and major personalities of the Northern Renaissance.
  • use historical sources such as letters, official records, illuminated manuscripts and various art works to illustrate this period of history.
  • describe some of the key changes and continuities that occurred in Western Europe during the period.
  • critically consider the concept ‘northern renaissance’

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?

  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • Mainly verbal feedback through individual and group discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • Pens, notepad and a file to store hand-outs would be useful.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • Susie Nash's 'Northern Renaissance Art' is a reliable guide to the stunning art of this period. Detailed reading lists including recommended websites will be issued in the first and subsequent sessions.

What can I do next?

  • Students could progress to further courses about art history, or art such as painting, or about the history of this or a different period. Tthe course would enhance any holidays to Northern Europe, or visits to galleries and museums.

Download full Course information sheet

History - The Northern Renaissance 1380-1580


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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