I want this course to be useful and interesting to anybody who has enjoyed looking at art, and who wishes to develop further their understanding of how art "works". It does not provide detailed information about any particular artist or historical period; nor is it an introduction to the story of art. It aims, instead, to suggest ways in which, by examining the formal qualities of paintings, we can enrich our understanding and enjoyment of them.
I also intend this course to be useful to university students who may be about to study a topic in the visual arts, but who do not have any particular experience of studying art. This is the experience of the majority of the students I have taught in the Departments of Italian at the Universities of Leeds and Cambridge, who are often highly trained in literary and linguistic analysis, but who wish to enrich their understanding of Italian culture by studying visual art. I hope that this course will help students wishing to work on the visual arts in any national or historical context, both by providing them with the basic tools they need, and by giving them the confidence to approach the visual arts.
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© Matthew Treherne, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT
This resource was created with the help of a University of Leeds Faculty of Arts Enterprise Knowledge Transfer Grant.