Study Tours 2017 - The Courtauld Institute of Art

Study Tours 2017

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Study Tours 2017


Art history short courses, lectures and tours

Study Tours 2017


For further details please contact us on:

+44 (0)20 7 848 2678

Short Courses
The Courtauld Institute of Art
Somerset House
London WC2R 0RN

You can also stay in touch with us on The Courtuald Gallery and Institute Facebook pages, and also on Twitter @CourtauldGall and @CourtauldNews using the hashtag#AHShortCourses.

Please note: the information below is for 2017 study tours, which have now taken place, and is for information only.

Details of the 2018 programme will be  online in very early December 2017.

Our Study Tour programme concentrates on themes and destinations in which many of our Short Courses students have expressed a particular interest.  Study Tours offer the opportunity to spend time with an expert art historian and like-minded enthusiasts looking at works of art and architecture in their original settings.

Tour fees in 2017 are £275 for 2 days, £410 for 3 days and £545 for 4 days.  The fee includes tuition, entry to all museum and sites, and transport between sites in the respective destination or between destinations in the case of tours that visit more than one town or city.  It does not include travel to and from the city/main destination of the tour, or accommodation: students are free to make their own arrangements.

Study Tours are limited to a maximum of 12 students.

All Study Tours include a good deal of walking and require a reasonable degree of physical fitness and mobility.  Please contact us if you have any doubts over your suitability to take part in any of the tours.

Tour 1:
Lucca at the Dawn of the Renaissance
Dr Geoffrey Nuttall
Thursday 11 – Saturday 13 May 2017

This course is now FULL.  Course now finished.

For over 250 years, merchants from the small Tuscan city of Lucca dominated the production and sale of the luxury silks so coveted by the ruling houses of Europe. Their wealth made Lucca one of the most beautiful cities in Italy and it remains one of the best preserved (and pedestrian friendly).  This tour focuses on the artistic legacy and innovative patronage of the Lucchese merchants, including masterpieces by the great Sienese sculptor Jacopo della Quercia, the wonderful cathedral of Saint Martin, the monumental palaces of the Guinigi, the treasure house that is the church of San Frediano, and the impressive collections of the Museo Nazionale and the Opera del Duomo. We will also visit the nearby Campo dei Miracoli in Pisa, Lucca’s cultural and political rival.  In studying the history of the city and its art, we will consider how Lucca’s relationship with Pisa and other Tuscan cities, and its merchants’ wide cultural horizons influenced its sophisticated patronage. We will question established art-historical labels, such as ‘International Gothic’ and ‘Renaissance’, traditional histories of art with their Florentine-centric approaches, and look at the relationship between artistic centres and peripheries with fresh eyes.

Dr Geoffrey Nuttall is an Associate Lecturer at The Courtauld Institute of Art.  He also teaches on The Courtauld Summer School, at the Victoria and Albert Museum and is an experienced study tour leader.  His doctorate from The Courtauld investigated Lucchese patronage across Europe between 1370 and 1430.  He has published articles and book chapters about Lucca and is currently preparing his thesis for publication. He has been a fellow at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California and in 2017 will be a scholar in residence at the Dutch Institute in Florence.


Tour 2:
Under the Sun: Modern Artists on the French Riviera
Dr Caroline Levitt
Friday 19 – Sunday 21 May 2017

This course is now FULL.  Course now finished.

The French Riviera was a particularly fertile region for artists at the start of the twentieth century. Matisse and Chagall, Picasso, Braque and Le Corbusier lived in and around Nice, and the Côte d’Azur bears testament to their productive creativity. On this three-day study tour, we will think about the ways in which artists found particular freedom for their artistic practice in this region, and will focus on the development of their ideas and techniques beyond painting and sculpture to incorporate architecture, mosaics, stained glass, ceramics and frescos. An intriguing side-theme will emerge: that of artists involved in designing and decorating chapels in the years following the Second World War. Visits will include: the museums dedicated to Matisse and Chagall in Nice and to Picasso in Antibes; chapels decorated by Matisse and Picasso in Vence and Vallauris; the remarkable Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence; and hopefully the newly-renovated site ‘Cap Moderne’ at Roquebrune Cap-Martin, which includes Le Corbusier’s Cabanon and Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici’s Villa E-1027. We will be based in Nice and travel by public transport. Please arrive in Nice by Thursday evening, as we will begin our visits together first thing on Friday morning, finishing on Sunday afternoon.

Dr Caroline Levitt is Visiting Lecturer and Associate Scholar at The Courtauld, where she obtained her PhD in 2008. She specialises in late nineteenth- and early  twentieth-century French art and literature, with particular research interests in Surrealism, in relationships between text and image and in artists also working in media such as tapestry, ceramics and stained glass.  She has written various articles and contributed to books including Phaidon’s The Art Museum (2011) and Art in Time (2014).  She is working on a monograph about artists who have owned books and drawn over them, in the context of a history of the avant-garde.


Tour 3:
From Ghiberti to Cellini: Sculpture in Renaissance Florence
Dr Scott Nethersole
Sunday 11 – Tuesday 13 June 2017

This course is now FULL.  Course now finished.

This study trip will examine sculpture produced in and for Florence between the opening years of the fifteenth century and the mid-sixteenth century. From the competition for the Baptistery doors in 1401 to the unveiling of Michelangelo’s enormous David in 1504, sculpture was frequently at the forefront of new developments in Florence art. It was also often a public art, closely associated with the fabric of the city itself and new civic ideas which we generally associate with the Renaissance. Over three days, we will examine the sculpture made for the Baptistery, Duomo, Orsanmichele and Piazza della Signoria. We will visit the national collection of sculpture at the Bargello and the Casa Buonarroti to examine two early works by Michelangelo, as well as various churches such as Santa Croce to see works that are still in situ.

Dr Scott Nethersole obtained his PhD at The Courtauld, where he has been Lecturer in Italian Renaissance Art since 2010.  He curated the exhibition Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces before 1500 at the National Gallery in 2011 and is currently completing a book entitled Art and Violence in Early Renaissance Florence.  His research frequently focuses on the style and materials of sculpture.


New Tour 4:
Treasures of Islamic Art: The David Collection in Copenhagen 
Dr Sussan Babaie
Thursday 27 – Friday 28 July 2017

This course is now FULL.  Course now finished.

Denmark’s beautiful capital Copenhagen has one of the world’s best collections of Islamic Arts, the David Collection.

Its core objects were acquired by the prominent lawyer Christian Ludvig David and made accessible to the public from 1948. Since the 1980s, in a remarkably short period, the collection’s small holding of Islamic arts has grown to one of the most significant in the world, offering a comprehensive representation of the arts of the entire classical Islamic world, from Spain to India, from the seventh to the nineteenth centuries. Under one roof, this superb collection enables the close study of all relevant artistic media, from ceramics to textiles, from paintings to metalwork. We will discuss each in their cultural context and define what we mean by the term ‘Islamic arts’. We will explore the significance of the Quran and the limits of representation, the cultures of the book (including painted manuscripts), and the production of luxury objects for urban and courtly elites. The significance of this collection makes our tour equally suitable to those who have previously studied Islamic Arts and wish to deepen their knowledge in front of the objects as well as to those for whom the subject is new.

Dr Sussan Babaie is Reader in the Arts of Iran and Islam at The Courtauld Institute of Art. She has taught widely including at the University of Michigan and the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich. She is the author of Persian Kingship and Architecture: Strategies of Power in Iran from the Achaemenids to the Pahlavis (2014), Shirin Neshat (2013), Isfahan and Its Palaces: Statecraft, Shi‘ism and the Architecture of Conviviality in Early Modern Iran (2008), Slaves of the Shah: New Elites of Safavid Iran (2004), Persian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1989), and of numerous articles.


Tour 5:
Baroque Rome: the “Great Theatre of the World”
Dr Miriam Di Penta
Wednesday 11 – Saturday 14 October 2017

This course is now FULL.  Course now finished.

In the seventeenth century, Rome became the most dynamic centre of artistic production in Italy, overtaking both Florence and Venice. The Catholic Church employed the visual arts as instruments of propaganda, and in the process transformed Rome into a modern city and a vibrant theatre for its message of triumph and glory. Behind these developments were different Popes, but also various religious orders and sophisticated private patrons. Countless Italian artists and foreigners from Flanders, Holland and France converged on Rome and brought their own cultures into this lively artistic melting pot. Starting with the works of Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio, the two great innovators of Roman Baroque Painting, we will proceed to look at the grandiose buildings of Bernini and Borromini, whose projects so dramatically contributed to the changing image of the city.
Visits will include the Carracci Gallery at Palazzo Farnese; a number of important churches, including S. Luigi dei Francesi, Sant’ Agostino, Santa Maria del Popolo, Sant’Andrea della Valle, and il Gesù; and significant historical collections such as those at Galleria Borghese, Galleria Doria-Pamphilj and Galleria Corsini, all offering a rich array of relevant paintings and sculptures.

Dr Miriam Di Penta studied for a postgraduate diploma at The Courtauld and obtained her PhD in art history at the University of Rome. Her research focuses on the Italian Baroque and Italian seventeenth- and eighteenth-century art collecting. She has taught at the University of Rome and published numerous articles as well as a book, Cardinal Giovan Battista Spinola and Baciccio (2007); her monograph on the Neapolitan artist Andrea De Leone is forthcoming in 2016. Miriam worked as a consultant in Old Master Paintings at Sotheby’s and now co-owns the internationally represented Galleria Giacometti OMP, Rome.

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