History of Art: The Power of Looking: Painting

Course Length: Full academic year (30 weeks)
This Year's ScheduleClick here to view

Aims of the Course

Dreaming Spires Art History courses are designed as introductions to the visual arts. Although they are designated Art History: Painting and Art History: Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, they do not have to be taken in a particular order.

In this course, History of Art: The Power of Looking: Painting, we introduce painters, their historical period, and their techniques so that students collect a variety of ways of seeing, and with these tools, they are able to feel at home in any museum in the world.

Based on Charlotte Mason's ideas on "picture study," this course will take you into the detail of each painter and painting every week, so that over time, you will have a good feel for the progression of artists, artistic ideas and styles throughout history.

Visual intelligence is a key skill in a world full of pictorial information. Having a keen sense of the visual world enables students to become discerning, sharpening their skills of assessment, analysis and articulation.

Increasingly, these skills are linked to and sought out in the sciences, medical professionals, in law and for criminal investigators, as well as more traditional roles such as architecture, fine arts and graphics.

How It Works

Each week in the live webinar, Jenny will focus on an artist and a relevant topic. Homework will be based on personal response as well as being able to articulate and apply the tools that are being covered. Any additional reading, such as the occasional foray into Gombrich's Story of Art, will be supplied via a free link online.

The course is suitable for students from the age of 11+, although there may be some examples of older works with mild nudity in the context of mythology.

Homework Expectations

Homework will include some set reading (including Facos' Introduction to Nineteenth-Century Art; otherwise, texts are provided), watching specified research materials, and writing a response (2-3 hours per week).

How It Supports Your Child's Education

In general, Art History is a fantastic addition to any teen's studies, not just from the artistic and cultural standpoint, but for teaching the skills of observation. So important is this aspect of a student's toolkit that medical schools in the US are requiring it as part of their trainee doctors' studies, so our courses go well with anyone whether their ambitions are in humanities or sciences.

For US students, this course will attract one high school credit in fine arts; for UK students, this course would be a useful adjunct for anyone studying Art GCSE who will need to complete art research, and serve as a solid foundation for those to those who want to do A-level Art History or Fine Art in the future.

Who Teaches History of Art 1?

Jenny Wells holds a degree in History of Art and English from the University of York, and an MA from the Open University. She home educated her children, and has been teaching History of Art and English GCSE and A Levels at an independent Oxford sixth form college for over twelve years, including being an A level examiner for History of Art. She has a special interest in teaching and encouraging students with specific learning needs.
See all courses taught by Jenny