Changing Faces of Portraiture. From Frescos to Finger Painting

Ref: C3741728

A portrait can provide an insight into both the person(s) portrayed and the artistic and social context within which it was produced. This course will draw on a variety of well known (and less familiar) images to study the role of portraiture in Western art from the Renaissance to the present day. We will start by discussing the resurgence of portraiture in Renaissance Europe and go on to study its development over the next few hundred years. Each week we will focus on a particular time period and/or sub-genre of portraiture and in the process engage with one or more of the course themes. Themes include power and status, identity, functions, and life and death. Artists whose work we will be studying include: Jan van Eyck, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Dürer, Anthony Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Artemisia Gentileschi, Velásquez, Thomas Gainsborough, Eduard Manet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Lucian Freud, David Bomberg, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Jenny Saville.

Course aim

The course aims to give students an understanding of the role of portraiture in Western art from the Renaissance to the present day, both in an artistic and wider sociological context.

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:

  • Define what is meant by the term ‘portraiture’ and list the different genres of portraiture such as group portraiture, self-portraiture etc.
  • Discuss possible reasons for the resurgence of portraiture in the Renaissance.
  • Identify key stages in the development of portraiture over the last 500 years e.g. the increased use of oil paints, the effect of the Reformation in Northern Europe.
  • Outline the effects of the development of photography on portraiture from the nineteenth century onwards with reference to specific artworks.
  • Discuss contemporary approaches to portraiture with reference to specific artists such as Jenny Saville, Marc Quinn, Sophie Calle.

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
  • Participants will be encouraged to undertake additional activities between sessions such as visiting galleries, researching public artworks and researching online. These activities, however, will not be compulsary.

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
  • Participants will be encouraged to share their ideas and thoughts with the group. The tutor will be happy to talk to participants on an individual basis after the session ends, if appropriate.

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided
  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • It would be helpful if you had access to the internet (Mobile phone, tablet or computer at home or through a library etc.)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

Download full course outline

Changing Faces of Portraiture. From Frescos to Finger Painting Course Outline

Enrolment Conditions

You can enrol online 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