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This September, Christie’s Education introduces its most comprehensive course to date with a dynamic syllabus spanning centuries of art history. Taught by experts at the forefront of the industry, the year-long programme is tailor-made for individuals passionate about the history of art and those aspiring to a career in the art world. With weekly live-stream lectures, in-person art handling sessions and interactive drawing lessons at Christie’s London flagship site in the heart of St James’s, the course culminates in a field trip to Paris, Florence, Rome or Venice, where students will immerse themselves in the vibrant art scenes of these iconic cities and broaden their understanding of art’s global influence outside the classroom.
A survey of 500 years of art
The curriculum comprises ten modules covering a wide range of essential topics — at its core, a chronological survey spanning the past 500 years of art. With a focus on history’s most visionary artists and pivotal artistic movements that have shaped the world, the course guides students through the intricacies of reading a painting and interpreting the symbols, classical myths and biblical narratives that feature most prominently in art. They also acquire first-hand insights from artists and collectors on curating, managing, conserving and exhibiting a collection.
Under the guidance of Christie’s auction house specialists, students are invited to handle paintings and decorative works of art and learn about the materials and techniques used to make them. Lifting the veil on how works of art are prepared and valued for sale, students are guided through the process of cataloguing with an emphasis on the meticulous research carried out by Christie’s specialists, yielding significant artistic discoveries and record-breaking auction results. With the largest and most experienced Restitution team of any international auction house, Christie’s makes provenance research an essential part of the cataloguing process. Students are guided through the complexities surrounding the restitution of Nazi-era theft and dispossession, as well as the topical debate surrounding the repatriation of cultural property. With poignant relevance, this module offers an alternative perspective of the art world and sheds light on events that have shaped its history.
The extraordinary rise of contemporary art as the leading collecting category in recent years is a focal point of the course
Another course module explores the evolution and economics of the art industry and how and why it functions as it does today. The extraordinary rise of contemporary art as the leading collecting category in recent years is a focal point of the course, with students being introduced to the major modern and contemporary art movements and the influence that politics and social change have had on artists. It also examines the emergence of contemporary art as a source of personal fascination as well as a strategic avenue for investment.
Participants are treated to a masterclass in Renaissance drawing techniques, showcasing the principles of figurative and naturalistic drawing as honed by the Old Masters. Guided tours of galleries, museums and exhibitions occur throughout the programme, with field trips in France and Italy marking its conclusion in June 2024. The course is led by Glen Hardwick-Bruce, Programme Director of Continuing Education at Christie’s London, who is supported by award-winning artists, tutors and industry experts. A centre of excellence with sites in London, New York and Hong Kong, Christie’s Education offers tuition in a wide spectrum of subjects ranging from the origin of Western art to the contemporary art and luxury market.
- Exploring Art: From the Renaissance to Contemporary starts on 11 September. Enrol now and enter promo code ART10 for a 10% discount, exclusively for readers of The Art Newspaper.