i Gilles Demarteau after François Boucher, Painting, 18th c., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Showcasing Art History


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.  The lectures are open to everyone over the age of 18, aim for a lively delivery and are given by members of the faculty, or by eminent associates and alumni of The Courtauld.

Each new season of ‘Showcasing Art History’ offers three free-standing terms. In the context of the continuing need for social distancing, all three terms in 2020-21 are delivered online.  Once we are able to return to face-to-face teaching in our lecture theatre at Vernon Square, we shall also retain online delivery of the lectures as an alternative option.

The new programme for Showcasing Art History season 2021-22 will be online by Friday 2 July.

Please see below for information on the previous season of lectures.

Jan van Eyck and his world:

recent discoveries and new research

Autumn Term
6 October – 10 December 2020

This term was led by Dr Susan Jones with contributions by Dr Paula Nuttall and Dr Geoffrey Nuttall.

An in-depth look at the art of Jan Van Eyck and his contemporaries. The term, led by Van Eyck specialist Dr Susan Jones, was informed by the latest research, exhibition and conservation projects relating to this towering figure of fifteenth-century Netherlandish art. With contributions by Dr Paula Nuttall and Dr Geoffrey Nuttall.

This term has now finished

Two people inspect a Van Eyck painting in a conservation studio. i An inspection of Jan van Eyck, Virgin and Child in an Interior (Lucca Madonna), ca. 1434-37, oil on oak panel, 65.5 x 49.5 cm. Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, inv. no. 944

From Caravaggio to Giovanna Garzoni:

new subjects and newly discovered careers in the arts of 17th-century southern Europe

Spring Term
12 January- 16 March 2021

This term was led by Dr Sheila McTighe, with contributions by Dr Giulia Martina Weston and Chloe Bazlen.

These lectures offered fresh perspectives on 17th-century art: a focus on new subject-matters and technical innovations employed by such well-known personalities as Caravaggio, the Carraci, Bernini and Poussin, and also on the rediscovery or revaluation of the careers of a number of significant women artists, including Giovanna Garzoni and Artemisia Gentileschi.

This term has now finished

Boys play in a musical ensemble. They wear white togas. Behind them is an angel. All the boys are infact the same model. i Caravaggio, The Musicians, 1597. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, metmuseum.org

Taboos and Liberations:

Gender and Sexuality in British Art, 1950-1988

Summer Term
27 April – 25 May 2021

Dr Catherine Howe

A term of 5 lectures on questions of gender and sexuality in British post-war art, led by Dr Catherine Howe. This lecture series explored British art produced from the 1950s into the 1980s, an era of ground-breaking creativity that confronted societal taboos and raised awareness of gender and sexual orientation inequality, challenging the stereotypical British ‘stiff upper lip’. We shall focus on a range of artists, landmark exhibitions and historical moments of freedom and oppression.

This term has now finished

A woman look out over the top of a fabric model of a washing machine. Her hand rests on her face. i Helen Chadwick, In the Kitchen (Fridge), 1977 © The Artist; reproduced with Richard Saltoun Gallery’s kind permission