The Renaissance in Flanders - Harrow Branch

Ref: C2421650

Flanders in 1400 was on the brink of a new flowering, growing rich on the trade in woollen cloth. Burgundy was one of the great courts in Europe. Together they provided a context in which the arts could flourish. The Master of Flémalle (probably Robert Campin) and the van Eyck brothers created a new light-filled realism in such masterpieces such as the Ghent Altarpiece. Rogier van der Weyden worked in a different style, but equally influential on what was to come. Together they laid the foundation for a distinctive Northern Renaissance and in this course we will explore their achievement.

Course aim

Van Eyck’s Arnolfini portrait is one of the most famous of all paintings. What was the context in which it was created? We will look at Flanders and Burgundy at the start of the fifteenth century, the van Eycks and some of their contemporaries.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need to be able to follow links to join our WEA live video learning platform: WEA Zoom. If you’d like to understand more about our video learning platform, Zoom please visit: and
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

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

  • Outline the social and political context within which the early Flemish Renaissance could flourish
  • Summarise what was new about the work of Campin and van Eyck
  • Illustrate van Eyck’s achievement with reference to some of his major paintings
  • Describe van der Weyden’s distinctive style in comparison to van Eyck
  • Recognise how these painters laid the foundation for what was to come

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit:
  • 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?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit:
  • Nothing else is needed

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading is required but research on the subject on the internet or in the library may be helpful

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course

Download full course information sheet

The Renaissance in Flanders - Harrow Branch


This course is funded by the Greater London Combined Authority but is also open to residents of other areas.

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • 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 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact

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