My job gives me the privilege of being out and about every day in London.

Whether leading a walk, visiting a museum or gallery, or just enjoying the city's bustle or its quiet spaces, there's always something new to see, something interesting going on.

In my blog, I seek to reflect the ever-changing patterns of life in the greatest City on Earth!

Getting to Grips with the National Gallery

Not just a run-through the highlight picture – this course spread over 6 2-hour sessions takes you through the Collection in a series of themes:

1. STEPPING THROUGH THE COLLECTION

Rather than just looking at the highlights of the Nat Gall, we will focus in week one on the development of western art through the categories of devotional works, portraiture, mythological subjects, landscapes and genre paintings.

2. GETTING BENEATH THE SURFACE

Concentrating on the Renaissance, we will examine painting surfaces from wood panels to canvas, the use of tempera and oil media, the making and use of pigments, the symbolism and meaning of colour, and changing techniques

3. SYMBOLISM AND ALLEGORY IN ART

We will learn how to decode the many symbols artists used in paintings to add layers of meaning to the main scene. Painters also frequently use the language of allegory to create ‘message pictures’.

4. UNDERSTANDING THE IMPRESSIONISTS

Why did the works of these artists cause such outrage in the Paris Salon? We will look at the techniques used by artists such as Monet, Seurat and Van Gogh and at what shaped their subject matter.


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