The Art of the Portrait

Ref: C3741287

This course examines the development and changing role of European portraiture – and of self-portraits – from classical times to the 21st century. Likeness, role-play and symbolism will be discussed in works by artists as diverse as Holbein, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Van Gogh and Klimt.

Additional information about this course

This course is not supported by the Skills Funding Agency and does not have a fee waiver but concessions may be available - contact the Branch for further details.

Course aim

to introduce the learners to the art of the portrait through close examination of selected images by great European masters – the examination of the self-portrait and its role in the work of the artist will form part of the course.

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 two functions of the portrait and the self-portrait
  • discuss some of the portraits shown during the course in a critical manner
  • list two main features of 18th century English portraiture

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?

  • 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?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • a short reading list will be provided at the start of the course

What can I do next?

  • Undertake further courses on the topic, focussing on a specific periods/areas. Visit art galleries to examine some portraits closely.

Download full Course information sheet

The Art of the Portrait


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
Visa Credit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Debit payments supported by RBS WorldPay Visa Electron payments supported by RBS WorldPay Mastercard payments supported by RBS WorldPay Maestro payments supported by RBS WorldPay JCB payments supported by RBS WorldPay Solo payments supported by RBS WorldPay
RBS WorldPay Payments Processing