Discover some of the most enduring tales of love, passion and revenge ever told, and their influence on some of the world's greatest art

At a Glance

  • Classroom course
  • Thursdays 18:00 - 20:00
  • 10 weeks: October to December
  • Tutor: Leslie Primo
  • Fees from £126 to £235
Booking link

The myths of the ancient Greeks and Romans are some of the most exciting stories ever told. From Theseus outwitting the Minotaur to Odysseus escaping the one-eyed cyclops, and the innumerable stories of love involving the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, as well as an array of over-the-top superheroes, these tales are the foundation stone on which Western civilization was built. Because of that it is no surprise to learn they have been loved by artists from the moment they were first told until the present day. And because of this we can use visual art to learn these ancient stories and at the same time expand our appreciation and enjoyment of some of the greatest paintings and sculptures ever made.

No previous knowledge of history, art, ancient culture or mythology is necesssary to join this classroom taught course.

Classroom Course

This course will be taught face-to-face in the classrooms at our South Kensington Campus in London. To take part in the course you will need to be able to attend our South Kensington Campus each week on the day and time shown above.

Attendance Certificate


Successful completion of this course leads to the award of an Imperial College attendance certificate


Terms and conditions apply to all enrolments to this course. Please read them before enrolment

Course Information

Course Programme and Additional Reading

AUTUMN TERM (10 weeks from 13 October 2022)

  • Session 1 - The Greeks, The Gods and Classicism 
  • Session 2 - The Olympians 
  • Session 3 - The Nude
  • Session 4 - The Iconography of Venus, Cupid & Mars 
  • Session 5 - The Renaissance & Philosophy of Classicism
  • Session 6 - Hercules and the Twelve Labours 
  • Session 7 - Fight between the Lapiths and the Centaurs
  • Session 8 - Theseus and the Minotaur - Bacchus & Ariadne
  • Session 9 - Prometheus & Pandora
  • Session 10 - Rape: Ganymede, Io, Europa – Leda & the Swan

This programme may be subject to modification


Additional Reading

There is no compulsory reading required for this course, and there is no set course text, but if you would like to read more on the subject we suggest:

  • Barkan, Leonard, The Gods Made Flesh: Metamorphosis and the Pursuit of Paganism (Yale University Press, Newhaven and London, 1986)
  • Bull, Malcolm, The Mirror of the Gods: Classical Mythology in Renaissance Art, (Penguin Books, 2006)
  • Bullfinch, Thomas, The Golden Age of Myth and Legend, (Wordsworth, 1993)
  • Boccaccio, Giovanni, The Genealogy of the Pagan Gods: Vulcan, book 12, (Kingston-upon-Thames Locks Press, London, 1999)
  • Carpenter, Thomas H., Art and Myth in Ancient Greece: a handbook, (Thames and Hudson Ltd, London, 1998)
  • Damisch, Hubert, The Judgment of Paris, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, 1996)
  • Freedman, Luba, The Revival of the Olympian Gods in Renaissance Art, (Cambridge University Press, United Kingdom, 2003)
  • Graves, Robert, The Greek Myths, (Penguin Books, 1990) Vols. I & II
  • Graves, Robert, (translation), The Golden Ass by Apuleius, (Penguin Books, 1950)
  • Healy, Fiona, Rubens and the Judgement of Paris: A Question of Choice, (Brepols, Belgium, 1997)
  • Innes, Mary, (translation), The Metamorphoses of Ovid, (Penguin Books, 1955)
  • Timothy, Gantz, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Vol: 1 & 2 (John Hopkins University Press, 1993)
  • Reference Dictionary, Hall’s Dictionary of Subjects & Symbols in Art, (John Murray/Cambridge University Press, 1996)
  • Reference Dictionary, Hall’s Dictionary of Symbols in Eastern and Western Art, (John Murray/Cambridge University Press, 1997)
  • Seznec, Jean, The Survival of the Pagan Gods: The Mythological Tradition and its Place in Renaissance Humanism and Art, (Princeton University Press, Mythos series, New Jersey, 1995)

Your Tutor

Photograph of Leslie PrimoYour tutor for this course will be Leslie Primo. Leslie is a highly experienced and well-known art historian who has appeared on television & radio and who has also lectured at organisations including the National Gallery in London and Wallace Collection.

You can read more about your tutor at: Leslie Primo's website

Twitter: artfirstprimo     

Blog: artfirstprimo

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 20 10 Early Bird: £212  (£10.60 p/h) 
Full price: £235   (£11.75 p/h)
Early Bird: £126  (£6.30 p/h) 
Full price: £140   (£7 p/h)
Early Bird: £166  (£8.30 p/h) 
Full price: £185   (£9.25 p/h)
All fee rates quoted are for the whole course. Early Bird rates available 1 August to 30 September 2022 only. Part-payments are not possible. Equivalent to hourly rate is shown for comparison guidance only, it is not possible to pay pro-rata hourly rates.

Rate Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
  • Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme

Associate Rate

  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Members of the Friends of Imperial College
  • Members of the Kennel Club
  • Members of the London Zoological Society
  • Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • National Health Service (NHS) employees
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Teachers and other staff of UK schools
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language Coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer term
 20  10 Week commencing 10 October to week ending 17 December 2022* n/a n/a
*This is a 1-term course

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 1 August 2022. Early bird discounts are available from 1 August to 30 September 2022.

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. When enrolling:

  • Do check on the drop down menu above called "Course Fees and Rate Categories" to see if you are eligible for a discounted rate and also do make sure you select that rate when enrolling on the eStore
  • If you are a first-time eStore user you will need to create an account before enrolling. You can do this by entering an email address and password. This account can then be used for any future enrolments via the eStore.

When you have enrolled you will be sent the following email notifications:

What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • This is a receipt for your payment and includes payment date, order number and course title
  • Confirmation of your place on your chosen course will follow later
2. Enrolment confirmation Is sent within 10 working days. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-confirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms the day and time of your course
3. Programme information Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains joining instructions for your course, incl. tutor contact details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Any Questions?

If you have any questions about the academic content or teaching of this course please contact the Course Tutor, Leslie

If you have any questions about your enrolment or payment processes please contact the Programme Administrator, Christian Jacobi,