Short Courses 2023

Online and on campus

A touching portrait of the family of the artist Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625) by his close friend and collaborator Peter Paul Rubens i Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) , The Family of Jan Brueghel the Elder , Around 1613–15, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

The Courtauld shares its scholarly expertise with everyone interested in art and art history through the Short Courses. Our courses present up-to-date art-historical thinking, often including our lecturers’ current research, and are led by experts in their field who are chosen for their academic excellence, enthusiasm, and the ability to communicate with diverse audiences.

Covering a global range of historical periods and art-historical themes, the Short Courses programme has much to offer to both newcomers to the subject and to participants with existing knowledge and interests.

Most of our on campus courses combine teaching in the classroom with visits to galleries and museums across London. If you are stretched for time or too far away from The Courtauld, you can also study with us online! You will receive expert lectures and reading material between 2-4 weeks before the start of an online programme so that you can immerse yourself in the content at your own time, in preparation for the lively online seminars during the course delivery week.

You can find our courses and their full descriptions on this website or in our flip-the-page brochure. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions, but if you cannot find an answer to your query please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Download our Short Courses calendar, listing all our courses and tours per month, below

Short Courses Calendar

Object in Focus

Albrecht Dürer’s astonishingly realistic body- and watercolour depiction of a young hare dates from 1502 and is one of the treasures of the Albertina in Vienna. The work proudly displays Dürer’s powers of observation and his skilful handling of the brush – note for instance the reflection of the workshop window in the hare’s visible eye. Very likely, it is also signalling his ambition to be seen on a par with the great painters of antiquity: according to a famous anecdote then circulating among German humanists, the Greek painter Polygnotus had depicted a hare in an Athens mural in so lifelike a way that passersby mistook it for a real animal.

Such ‘Truth to Nature’ is a central tenet of Western Art and will be explored in our intensive autumn course ‘From Life: Representing Nature in Northern European Art 1500-1750’

Find out more about the course
A Hare i Albrecht Dürer, Hare, 1502. The Albertina Museum, Vienna. Image: Wikimedia commons.

Coming Next:

Showcasing Art History

Ordinary People: Paintings and Prints of Everyday Life from Bruegel to Hopper

Autumn term
Tuesday 3 October – Tuesday 5 December 2023, 19:00
On campus
Wednesday 11 October – Wednesday 13 December 2023, 20:00 [London time]

This series of lectures explores the representation of everyday life in Western art from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries. Possessing considerable ideological heft, such art contributed to wider contemporary debates about the poor, the place of women in society, ‘modernity’, industrialisation and urbanisation, and other important contexts to be explored by our lecturers.

Find out more
A drawing of a nude woman sitting on a red sofa atop a beige cushion, drying herself with a white towel. Her left arm is raised and her face obscured from the viewer. The background is fully red, and the sketch is an unblended charcoal, creating unusual graphic rhythms. i Edgar Germain Hilaire Degas (1834-1917), After the Bath - Woman Drying Herself, circa 1895, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

In The Footsteps of Renaissance Visitors: Four Walks in Rome

Dr Barbara Furlotti and Dr Guido Rebecchini
Zoom seminars on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November 2023

A tour illuminating the architectural and artistic treasures of the eternal city through the eyes of Renaissance visitors. We shall move along the Via Papalis, as part of a papal procession, admire the breathtaking urban transformations wrought by Pope Julius II, join Renaissance artists in studying Rome’s famed antiquities, and adopt the garb of devout pilgrims on a tour of the Seven Churches and their spectacular treasures of art.

Find out more
A well-dressed man gestures with his hand towards a landscape filled with Roman antiquities. i Francesco Villamena, Portrait of Ioannes Altus (Johann Alten), of the Swiss Guard, standing by the Quirinal and pointing out the antiquities of Rome, 1623, etching, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Image:

Our programmes

A road winds along a field with peach trees. A small village can be seen in the background.

Spring Courses

Online and on campus options. Our Spring Courses go considerably beyond introductory surveys. Organised thematically, they provide a solid basis for further study in Western art from classical antiquity to the twentieth century. ...

Summer School

Online and on campus. Summer School 2023 features 30 intensive five-day courses on a global range of topics from late classical to contemporary art. ...

A group of houses can be seen behind the trees in a colourful forest.

Autumn Courses

Online and on campus options. Our Autumn Courses go considerably beyond introductory surveys. Organised thematically, they provide a solid basis for further studies of areas of Western art from classical antiquity to the twentieth century. ...

A man wearing a top hat stands at his easel.

Showcasing Art History

Online and on campus. As the programme name implies, the series aims to share the latest art-historical thinking, and The Courtauld’s excellence in teaching and research, with the wider public....

Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (1803–1860), Odalisque in an interior with a parrot, 1830s. Watercolour and opaque watercolour on wove paper, 13.4 cm x 9.8 cm. © The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)

Saturday Study

Saturday Study delivers short, intensive and, we hope, enjoyable events that help to give further context to our temporary exhibitions, or use selected works from our permanent collections as starting points for the investigation of significant art-h...

A man sits at a table and inspects a statue

Open Event

Invitation to our Open Morning. New to art history? Unsure if The Courtauld is for you? Come and meet us over coffee, conversation and a range of short talks!...