Art Historians in Oxford

Last weekend, Sixth Form Art Historians took a merry trip to the university city of Oxford to gain first-hand experience of the inspiring art and architecture.

We started with a visit to the unique collection at Christ Church College Picture Gallery. The intimacy of the gallery, with paintings unprotected by Perspex, enabled all to get incredibly close up to the gold leaf and egg tempera of the medieval panel paintings, as well as to gain an even better appreciation of Renaissance mastery of line and colour in the form of works by Piero della Francesca, Titian and Ghirlandaio. As the purpose-built gallery was celebrating its 250th anniversary, we mused upon what it might have been like as a student at the college at the time of its opening, when Turner watercolour paintings were a commonplace decoration in student digs!

Whilst taking in the impressive architecture of some of the university colleges, we headed next to the Ashmolean Museum which houses the oldest public art collection in the world. The space inside was indeed so vast that all had to make beelines for their favoured artistic periods! Particular highlights included seeing the light-infused paintings of Impressionist painter Pisarro, who students have recently studied in class, as well as the fantastical works of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood and amazingly well preserved Ancient Roman sculpture.

Art History Lecture - Monday 29 February
Guest speaker, Ed Lilley - ‘Gustav Courbet – Home and Away’
19.30 in the William Dauntsey Room

A socialist rabble-rouser eminently at home in bohemian Paris, Courbet came from the well-to-do rural middle class. He enjoyed country pursuits such as hunting as much as he relished the raffish aspects of metropolitan life. This talk will explore these apparent contradictions, as well as others, in the rich existence of a larger-than-life character.

All welcome. For more information please contact Victoria Rose, Director of Art