Lectures in History of European Art




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A course of lectures in History of European Art comprises 15 lectures 1,5 hours each.

After attending classes:

You will have an opportunity to take a fresh look at the countries you visit

You will learn to see sacral meaning in museum exhibits and to comprehend the works of art

You will get acquainted with painting techniques of different countries and epochs

You will learn to distinguish styles and trends of painting, sculpture and architecture

Lecture 1.Pre-historic Art.

Appearance of pre-historic art: the macaroni (meander) hypothesis, the hand hypothesis.

Transition from primitive sketchiness to polychromatic drawings. A journey through the caves of Spain and France.

How pre-historic people procured pigment and what colours they were using.

Prehistoric person’s beliefs.

Lecture 2.The Art of Mesopotamia and its Connection with Modernity.

What Mesopotamiais, the sign of infinity in the valley of the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, contemporary location of Babylon.

Mythology of Sumer and Akkad and Old Testament: the epic of Gilgamesh, the Great Flood.

Deciphering the cuneiform writing by a village teacher’s assistant.

The mysterious city of Nineveh and its cultural heritage.

The earliest architecture, which you may also see today.

Egyptology during the period of Napoleonic wars, or who was Champollion?

Lecture 3.The Culture of Ancient Greece and Its Influence on the Future of European Painting

The Pantheon of Greek Gods and its depiction in later epochs: Botticelli’s “The birth of Venus”, Velasquez’s “The Spinners”.

Greek vase-painting (black- and red-figure techniques)

Architecture of insular and mainland Greece.

Minos’s Labyrinth on Crete.

The Acropolis of Athens (masculine and feminine principles in architecture: Doric and Ionic orders).

Greek sculpture and where to find it.

Mural painting (the earliest frescoes).

Lecture 4.Byzantium.The Successor of Roman Empire

Early Christian painting in catacombs and its difference from Roman frescoes (comparison with decoration of the Villa of Livia).

Symbolism in Byzantine art. Icon-painting and secular elements. Iconoclasm and what remained in Kyiv after it.

Byzantine architecture and the first basilicas.

What remained in Istanbul from grandeur of Constantinople?

Mosaics of Ravenna and St. Sophia Cathedral.

The influence of Byzantium on the world of Ancient Rus.

Lecture 5.Middle Ages: Were These Ages Really So Dark and Why?

Superstitions and punishment.

Roman and Gothic architecture: is there any difference?

The role of sculpture in Medieval Art.

The book miniature.Belief in the Evil One and types of its depiction.

Why witches got burned and how inquisition took place.

Crusades and Medieval knights.

A travel to Medieval France and Germany.

Lecture 6. Italian Renaissance: A Trip to Toscana Valley and Rome

Antiquity and humanism.

The Medici in the history of Florence.

The image of Madonna in the Renaissance art.

Precursors of Renaissance or why travelling to Padua is a must (Giotto and his innovations).

“The Gates of Paradise” by Ghiberti in the Florence Baptistery.

Brunelleschi and his dome of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

Remembering Boticelli again.

Frescoes by Masaccio.

Lecture 7.The Great Trinity of High Renaissance

Leonardo da Vinci (“The Last Supper”, a scientist or an artist).

Michelangelo (the statue of David and what its difference from Verrocchio and Donatellois, the Sistine Chapel).

Rafael (Sistine Madonna, Rafael’s stanzas, the School of Athens)

A travel to Uffizi and Vatican and also an excursion to Umbria and Ferrara.

Lecture 8. A Venetian School of Painting

The impact of Gothic art in Venice: St. Marco Cathedral, the Doges’ Palace.

Titian – the greatest colorist (a common trait with Michelangelo).

Veronese and Tintoretto.

Lecture 9. Northern Renaissance: The Peculiarity of Northern Europe.

First literary (authorial) fairy-tales. The distinction between Italian and Northern Renaissance.

Jan van Eyck. The Ghent Altar piece.

Graphics as a kind of art: Dürer (the topic of apocalypses). Albertine.

Lecture 10. The Mysteries of Dutch Painters.

Pieter Bruegel’s puzzles.

Jheronimus Bosch and his insanity.

Lecture 11.The Art of the 17th Century

The painting art of Spain. Artwork by Diego Velasquez.

The giants of Dutch Golden Age and the lesser Dutch masters.

Rembrandt Van Rijn, Pieter Paul Rubens.

Lecture 12. The Art of the 18th Century

Rococo in art and architecture.

Antoine Watteau. “The Shop Sign of Gersaint”.

François Boucher and Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

Venetian painting.The cityscape genre of veduta.

Lecture 13.Romanticism and Realism in Art


Honoré Daumier and his caricatures (illustrations to Servantes).

Lecture 14.Impressionism or a Walk around Montmartre

Whycontemporariesdidnotperceivetheartworkofimpressionistsandwhat their distinction from classical painting is (an article by Émile Zola).

A new coloristic approach.

Manet or Monet?

Van Gogh: a Frenchman or a Dutchman?

Did impressionism exist in other countries?

Lecture 15.The20thCenturyor How We Have Lived to See Modern Art.

Picasso and Gaudi or why it is important to visit Barcelona.

The paradox of Malevich.

Dali: a genius or a lunatic?

Georges Braque’s cubism.

The beauty of Modigliani’s lines.

You may either attend the entire course or listen to specific topics you are interested in.


lesson`s duration - 1,5 hours


Age of participants - adults


Numbers of participants - up to 15 people

Important information

You may enroll for entire course or choose specific lessons you are interested in.

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