Development of the Royal Portrait

Ref: C2225481

To consider the motivation behind, and the development of, the royal portrait, the impact of these portraits and the unique dimension in art of three parties involved: the painter, the sitter, and the viewer. Most sitters and painters had and have their own agenda, and their interaction has resulted in some very different portraits from those originally imagined or intended. The most important advent of photography and the relationship between art and photography is also a dimension of this course.

Course aim

To show how royal and associated portraiture has developed since the fifteenth century, and its importance with regard to status and propaganda

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • Members of the class with memories or experiences connected with the subject will be encouraged to share them, and also to bring any artefacts connected with the subject to class

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

  • Trace the development of the royal portrait from c.1400 to the present day
  • Recognize, with some accuracy, the work of famous individual painters and schools of painting
  • Estimate the influence and contribution of portrait painters and photographers, both domestic and foreign
  • Analyse specific portraits in some details, and show why they are significant in the development of the royal portrait
  • Consider the background and back stories of famous and significant, and perhaps iconic, portraits

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
  • Students may have portraits of their own, which they will be encouraged to share with the class, and these, and opinions given, will be incorporated into specific classes

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
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • Students will be encouraged to take notes, perhaps for future reference and feedback. Any student who wishes to sketch or copy will also be encouraged to do so.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful
  • Any book on royal portraits could be consulted before the class, which might raise some interesting questions

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • This course could lead to a range of job opportunities. Follow link to National Careers Service for more details
  • Examinations in Art History might be considered, or even in Museology.

Download full course information sheet

Development of the Royal Portrait

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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