Art History: Enlightenment - Art, Ideas and Industry

Ref: C2419165

An introduction to painting and decorative art of the European Enlightenment covering the arts of Northern and Southern Europe, this course has been designed for learners of all levels to find out more about artists and significant innovations in art- techniques, materials and display- against a backdrop of key developments of Enlightenment Europe explored in themes of ideas, politics, science and industry.

Course aim

For learners of all levels to explore and understand the artists and the arts of Enlightenment Europe in "le Siècle des Lumieres" (century of lights) in the eighteenth century.

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:

  • Knowledge of key artists and artistic movements of the Enlightenment
  • Make links between the arts and artists of different European countries
  • Understand how the Enlightenment, with emphasis on philosophical, political and industrial progress, influenced a range of art forms from painting to the decorative arts
  • Examine and understand key period styles of painting and the decorative arts
  • Through discussion and debate, consideration of aspects of central themes in the arts of the period

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
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning
  • Share information on publications, exhibitions and events as these occur during the course.

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

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here
  • You could write your own diary or blog and even publish reviews and articles on art. Share your blog on facebook or other sites with others of similar interests.

Download full Course information sheet

Art History: Enlightenment - Art, Ideas and Industry


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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