Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and
Music.Hockney “I prefer living in colours”
The very term ‘colour’ is used differently in the C21st. This course traces the fascinating history of pigments: where they came from, how they were created, and how they have changed the course of art history. It’s a story that will take us from a single mine in Afghanistan to the serendipitous discovery of a fraudulent alchemist in Berlin to a contemporary patent for the blackest black imaginable. We’ll consider both the materiality of colours – for instance, the impact of ‘fugitive’ pigments and dyes that disappear in time – and their shifting symbolism in different cultural contexts. Re-discover paintings you thought you knew by seeing them digitally returned to their ‘real’ colours and forge new connections between artists.
Blue Cennino Cennini
“illustrious, beautiful and most perfect, beyond all other colours”
Ancient Egyptians were unusual for valuing blue so early on. It wasn’t until the C12th in Europe that Abbot Suger, proponent of Gothic architecture, stated blue was divine. Discover how blue went on to become the most venerated pigment in Medieval and Renaissance art and how chemists strove to replace costly lapis lazuli. Why is denim ubiquitous? What made Yves Klein smear his nude models in blue paint? Explore blues through the works of Giotto, Holbein, Titian, Vermeer, Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, and Hockney amongst others.