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History of Art: Key Concepts


History of Art: Key Concepts

Embark on a captivating exploration of the history of art in 6 evening sessions and study key moments in humankind’s relationship to creativity.

Participants will unravel both turning moments and highlights in Western art history, ranging from looking at classicism in ancient Greece or the splendor of Medieval cathedrals through 19th century Impressionism and the avant-garde movements of the post-war period, in the process gaining a comprehensive understanding of important artistic movements, styles, and the evolution of visual culture. Whether participants are seasoned art enthusiasts or newcomers to the world of art history, this course provides valuable insights that enhance appreciation of the arts and enrich cultural understanding. Taught by an expert art historian and scholars from the field, students will learn how to look at and engage with art by exploring the most captivating movements that changed the course of art history.

Deadline to Register: May 14

  • Price
  • Register
  • Date
    Summer | May 21 - June 25
  • Time
    Tuesday evenings 6:30pm – 7:45pm GMT
  • Duration
    6 Weeks
  • Location
  • Topics
    • Art History
  • Language
  • Contact Admissions

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss key moments in the history of Western art.

  • Explore the different technological developments that led to artistic innovation.

  • Practice close looking and visual analysis, using key artworks from the Modern period.

  • Articulate different art movements and their characteristics.

  • Enjoy art and its history with a deeper appreciation.


Viv Lawes

Course Leader, Summer Program, London

Viv Lawes is an author, journalist, lecturer and curator with over 25 years’ experience in the art market. She studied History at York University and graduated with an MA in Fine and Decorative Art from Sotheby’s Institute in 1997, where her thesis focused on the textile trade between England and India/ China in the 17th and 18th centuries. Learn more...

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Sample Schedule

More Information

  • Sample Topics

    Sample Topics

    • Classicism in Ancient Greece
    • The Medieval Mindset: God, Light and Color Aesthetics in the Age of Enlightenment
    • Capturing the Moment: Impressionism and Modernity
    • The Death of the Author and Post-war Power Shifts
  • Course Completion

    Course Completion

    Course participants take away in-depth and valuable insight into the current and future art world. Those who successfully complete their course will receive a certificate of completion from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

    Sotheby’s Institute of Art course participants come from all over the world, from a wide variety of backgrounds. As they study, travel, and explore the art world alongside each other throughout the program, fierce and long-lasting collaborations are frequently born. Individuals who complete these courses join our network of over 8,000 past participants around the globe who hold top positions at renowned art organizations.

  • Requirements


    English Language Requirement
    Course participants should be proficient in written and spoken English and be able to participate in group discussions and presentations in English. It is recommended that participants have the equivalent level of IELTS score of 6.0 /TOEFL score of 78 IBT, however evidence of test scores is not required to register.

    Age Requirement
    Courses are open to participants 18 years of age or older, however, we prefer that students have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience to be able to properly engage in the course.

    For more information, please see our Terms and Conditions.