Introduction to Art image

This introductory course presents an opportunity to explore a wide variety of Western European art from early Byzantine through to late Victorian and Impressionism. The course aims to encourage in participants a dialogue regarding the varied varieties of art and the appreciation thereof. The structure will be that of a broadly chronological and geographical approach, which will take in key movements, styles and artists, with some classes devoted exclusively to artists such as Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, and many more.

The course begins with the first three weeks devoted to iconography, exploring aspects such as saints, pagan gods, signs, symbols, meaning and more. Within these first three lessons we will also look at the application of perspective and colour. Thereafter each week will also focus on particular movements and periods in European art history, the result being by the end of the course you will have a broad understanding of art appreciation in a historical and aesthetic context as well as the confidence to speak knowledgeably and critically about European art.

No prior knowledge of art history is required. Please find below a brief week-by-week course outline (subject to change).


  1. The Iconography of Venus, Cupid and Mars
  2. The Iconography of Adorations and Annunciations
  3. The Iconography of Saints and Sinners
  4. Byzantine to Gothic
  5. Medieval and Gothic
  6. The Florentine Renaissance
  7. The Northern Renaissance
  8. The Sienese Renaissance
  9. Botticelli


  1. Leonardo
  2. Raphael
  3. Michelangelo
  4. The Venetian Renaissance
  5. Baroque
  6. Northern Baroque
  7. Art in Spain
  8. Art in France
  9. The Dutch Golden Age
  10. Neo-Classicism
  11. The Victorian Age to the Modern Age

About the tutor

Mr Leslie Primo is an Art Historian, Television Presenter, and Freelance Lecturer. More information about the tutor’s work, interests and background can be found here:

Twitter: artfirstprimo
Blog: artfirstprimo

Imperial College undergraduates and postgraduates may, if they wish, acquire 2 ECTS credits after successfully completing their Evening Class. To qualify, a student must attend the classes regularly and pass a test at the end of the second term. Students will be invited to apply in the second term to take the test.

Questions regarding the content and teaching of the above course should be sent to the course tutor, Mr Leslie Primo,