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Course - Painting and mosaic in the Greek and Roman world

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Comments about Course - Painting and mosaic in the Greek and Roman world - At the institution - London - Greater London

  • Objectives
    Starting with Minoan and Mycenaean frescoes, taking in Greek vase painting, Macedonian royal tomb paintings, Hellenistic pebble mosaics, Pompeian wall painting, Roman picture mosaics and then early Christian catacomb paintings and Ravenna mosaics, you will learn about this unique and inspiring art form and its place in the classical and early Christian world.
  • Course description
    What is the course about?

    We will look at the colourful variety of painted arts from the Ancient Greek and Roman world. We will start by seeing Late Bronze Age frescoes from the palace walls of Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece. Greek vase painting will then show us the developing fascination with narrative scenes of myth and daily life from the Archaic to Classical Greek periods. Painted walls from the recently excavated tombs of the Macedonian kings will give us a glimpse of the masterpainters of the late classical world. Etruscan tomb painting will be investigated with its influences from the Greek world and local fascination with nature. Roman Pompeii has left us an extraordinary wealth of frescoed walls with illusionistic images of myth, landscape, still life and everyday scenes. The strikingly lifelike portraits preserved on Roman mummies from Egypt will reveal lost portrait painting. Roman Catacomb painting will show the adoption of pagan imagery by early Christians. Mosaic art will be investigated alongside the paintings, from the early Macedonian pebble mosaics of the 4th century BC through Roman pictorial floor mosaics, finishing with the superb Late Antique mosaics from the churches at Ravenna. As well as the vivid pieces that have survived, we will consider the evidence for the masterpieces whose fame survives in ancient literature.

    What topics will we cover?

    • An introduction to examples of the painted arts from Late Bronze Age Greece to the Late Antique world of Rome.
    • An introduction to examples of mosaic from Macedonian Greece to the Late Antique Roman world.
    • A brief introduction to the evidence for lost masterpieces of Greek painting

    By the end of this course you should be able to:

    • Feel an introductory awareness of different types of painted art from late Bronze Age Greece to the late Antique world of Rome.
    • Have a realisation that many examples of painting were admired in Antiquity, but have not survived.
    • Have some understanding of the types of scene that were favoured by painters and mosaicists of ancient Greece and Rome.
    • Have an introduction to the mosaic arts from the late Greek and Roman world.
    • Have a brief introduction to how early Christians used images from the Greek and Roman pagan repertoire to express their beliefs in their paintings and mosaics.

    What level is the course?

    No previous knowledge of the subject is expected. Any students with prior knowledge of the Greek and Roman world will find it enhances their understanding .

    How will I be taught?

    Classes will be taught in informal slide lectures with the opportunity for questions and discussion where appropriate.

    Are there any other costs (e.g. certification, materials, equipment or books I need to buy)?

    No. A booklist for optional reading will be supplied at the start of the course.

    What feedback will I get?

    This course is not an examined course and no coursework is required, although the tutor will be happy to suggest projects for study if requested.

    Students will hopefully feel awareness of introduction to the subject, and perhaps experience a wish to learn more. You will receive regular feedback from your tutor throughout the course, as and when appropriate. At the end of the course you and your tutor are asked to assess the progress you have made.

    Will I have a chance to give my views on the course?

    Yes, please complete the evaluation form at the end of your course. These are monitored and help us to continually improve our courses.

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