Italy Comes to England

Ref: C3741315

As the architecture of the Renaissance in Italy flourished, and led down divergent pathways to the works of Palladio and the Baroque style, how was its influence felt in England? Arguably this began as gentle incorporation into Elizabethan building, changing dramatically with the work of Inigo Jones in the seventeenth century. Its re-emergence was seen in the work of Wren and Hawksmoor and in the age of the Grand Tour, as key figures like Lord Burlington became absorbed by architecture. We will examine how this influence was demonstrated, and how illustrated publication of works such as Palladio’s I Quattro Libri and Colen Campbell’s Vitruvius Britannicus played a crucial part.

Course aim

To enable course members to investigate architectural design in the Italian Renaissance and identify the ways in which this influenced English architecture, particularly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Explore, and recognise from key examples, influential architecture of the Italian Renaissance
  • Examine key publications on Renaissance architecture - both those published in Italy and those they inspired in England
  • Consider how both the buildings and the publications of Renaissance Italy inspired the built work of English architects

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
  • Presentations with images and colour notes provided for each session

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
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • Useful background reading, but not essential for the appreciation of the course. Christoph Frommel, The Architecture of the Italian Renaissance, Thames and Hudson John Summerson, Architecture in Britain 1530 to 1830, Yale

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Arranging visits to study buildings covered by this course

Download full course outline

Italy Comes to England Course Outline


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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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