Mosaics: From Rome to Ravenna

Ref: C3741134

Mosaics are a much neglected art form, requiring much skill and ingenuity from those who made them. We will study a range of sacred and secular examples of wall and floor mosaics, beginning with Pompeii, before moving to Sicily, Rome, Venice and Ravenna. By Roman times there were various kinds of mosaics for theatres, basilicas and palaces and mosaics were used to enrich places of worship from early Christian times. We will study different forms of mosaics, looking a the methods of making them and their iconography and we will analyse in order to explore their meaning, setting them in the context of the societies in which they were produced.

Course aim

This course will cover a range of sacred and secular mosaics from Rome to Ravenna and places in between, studied in their political, social, historical and artistic context.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Describe the different types of mosaics and the methods of making them.
  • Assess the impact of the political, religious, artistic and social context on the design and content of the case studies on which the course is based.
  • Identify the differences in the iconography of Byzantine and Christian mosaics studied.
  • Analyse individual schemes in order to explain their meaning using art historical language

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
  • The sessions will include time for discussion in the whole group and in smaller groups. Questions and debate will be encouraged.

What else do I need to know?

  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)
  • Your may like to bring along a file in which you can record details of the works studied and any technical or art historical terms relevant to the mosaics studied.

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

Download full Course information sheet

Mosaics: From Rome to Ravenna


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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