Art, Architecture and Society in the 18th Century

Ref: C2419859

The eighteenth century was one of the great periods of art and architecture in England. We can deepen our understanding by knowing something of the historical context in which the works of art were created. The course will concentrate on the earlier part of the century, the age of Hogarth and Gibbs. Through their works and the works of their contemporaries we will explore a range of different topics including how the different classes were represented and what that tells us about their life-styles, religion and church building, charities (particularly the Foundlings Hospital) and pleasure gardens. Since London more than ever before set the pattern for the rest of the country we will finish the course with a ‘tour’ of the capital in the middle of the eighteenth century.

Course aim

How art and architecture reflects the ideas and context of eighteenth century England.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Demonstrate how images created in the eighteenth century can illustrate attitudes and ideas of the period.
  • Show how particular buildings were adapted to the needs of the time.
  • Illustrate how the pursuit of pleasure and social life is reflected in works of art and architecture in the eighteenth century.
  • Read buildings, paintings and prints with a deeper understanding and greater enjoyment

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

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

Art, Architecture and Society in the 18th Century


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

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