The Influence of Art from the Continent of Europe on British Art

Ref: C3744549

This course will investigate the influences that art from continental Europe has had on British art over the centuries. Indeed many great artists who worked in Britain were in fact Europeans, notably Rubens, Van Dyck and Holbein. Ancient art from Greece and Rome was enormously important in the development of Renaissance art in Europe, not least in Britain but this course will also look at the effect of medieval and Gothic art on British artists, including the PreRaphaelites in the 19th century. We will also try to explain the development of modernism based on the experiments in art in France and Germany at the start of the 20th century. Artists to be explored will include Holbein, Rubens, Van Dyck, Turner, Constable, The Pre Raphaelites, Paul Nash, Christopher Nevinson and the British surrealists.

Course aim

This course aims to introduce students to the influences the art of mainland Europe have had on art made in the British Isles, with a view to better understanding the way such influence works in the visual arts.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed

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

  • Identify works by Hans Holbein.
  • Describe at least one Pre-Raphaelite painting.
  • Begin to discuss the influence of European art on art made in the British Isles.

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
  • 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

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider

Download full course information sheet

The Influence of Art from the Continent of Europe on British Art

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This course is not available for online enrolment.


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 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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