Among British art history departments The Courtauld is almost unique in teaching Greek and Roman art. Classical research students here have the best of both worlds. They enjoy access to the full range of art-historical resources at the Institute as well as belonging to the wider community of classical researchers in the University of London. Many of our PhD students have continued into academic careers in university classics departments.


Byzantine and Medieval

Since its foundation The Courtauld has had a strong tradition of research and teaching at all levels in the Medieval field. Four of the Institute's Directors have been active medieval art historians (T.S.R. Boase, Peter Lasko, Michael Kauffmann, Eric Fernie). Many distinguished medievalists have been associated with the Institute, as students, as teachers (Christopher Hohler, George Zarnecki, Peter Kidson), as researchers, as lecturers, as affiliated visitors.

Throughout its history The Courtauld has taken a broad view of what constitutes 'medieval art', whether perceived in chronological, geographical or material terms. 'Art' has always included architecture, as well as sculpture, metalwork, etc. 'Medieval' is reckoned to include the Byzantine as well as the 'western' world. Our time frame is elastic, certainly stretching from late antiquity via the 'Middle Ages' to encompass medieval revivals and the modern historiography of the subject. A 'little Englander' approach has always been shunned in favour of an international engagement.

Image credits:
Left: detail from the sarcophagus of Constantia, c.350, Vatican
Middle: Admiral George of Antioch, from the mosaics in the Martorana church, Palermo, 1143

Right: detail of a south Italian oliphant [ivory horn], c.1100 [courtesy Edinburgh Royal Museum]