Understanding Art: 10 Great Artists
Virtual journeys around some of the world's most famous and not so famous artists
At a glance
- Live online course
- 1 hour a week
- Tuesdays 19:00 - 20:00, or Wednesdays 11:00 - 12:00 (repeat)
- 10 weeks: January to March
- Tutor: Michael Paraskos
- Fees from £60 to £105
- Imperial College Attendance Certificate (T&Cs apply)
- Book from 23 November
This 10-week course is designed to offer you a chance to discover the work of some of the world's most famous, and not so famous, artists.
Each week we will look at the work of a different artist, placing their work in the context of the times in which they lived. You will be encouraged to consider the artists under study in terms of their lives and works, their connections to other artists, their relationship to the time in which they lived, and their posthumous reputations, while also thinking about how we look at and understand art.
Taught online by the highly experienced adult education tutor Dr Michael Paraskos, this course is aimed at complete beginners and those more experienced in art who want to gain greater fulfilment from visiting art museums and galleries when they reopen, or who want to progress to further study in art and cultural history.
Online Access to Course
This is a taught live online course which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time on a specific day of the week. To take part in the course you will need a suitably equipped and internet-enabled device. Please find full details and instructions below under 'Course Delivery'.
Those who attend at least 80% of the course sessions will receive an attendance certificate from Imperial College London upon completion of the course.
Special Notice Regarding Covid-19 and Gallery Visits
This course was created in early 2020 as a response to the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown which prevented our weekly class of gallery visits from taking place. We hope to reinstate the gallery visits class after Easter 2021, but this will depend on the situation at that time regarding the progress of vaccination and government advice on group visits. In the meantime, the online exploration of artists will continue with this course en lieu of actual visits to galleries.
Proposed Course programme - may be subject to change
Each week we shall look at the work of these artists and relate it to the work of other artists of their time and the social, cultural and political events that influenced them. The talks are informal and intended to shine a light on artists, some of whom will be familiar, others perhaps unknown, to help you understand an enjoy their work.
The first session for this class will be on Tuesday evening (7pm to 8pm UK time) on 12 January, repeated Wednesday morning (11am to 12 noon UK time) on 13 January.
Week 1: John Everett Millais and Pre-Raphaelitism
Week 2: William Lethaby and the Arts and Crafts Guilds (N.B. On Tuesday evening this class will start at 7:15pm)
Week 3: Sandro Botticelli
Week 4: Aelbert Cuyp and the Dutch Golden Age
Week 5: Benedetta Cappa and the Women Futurists
Week 6: Karl Hagedorn
Week 7: Jean Dubuffet
Week 8: Marisol Escobar
Week 9: Victor Pasmore
Week 10: Easter in Art
There is no requirement to undertake specific reading for this course.
Dr Michael Paraskos is a very experienced adult education tutor, having taught for over twenty-five years. He holds a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and also teaches art history to undergraduate students at the City and Guilds of London Art School.
He is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction and has published very widely on art of this period, as well as reviewing exhibitions and novels for BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and The Spectator magazine. His first novel In Search of Sixpence was published in 2016 and his second, called Rabbitman, was published in 2017.
All our online courses are taught live which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time. To take part in the course you must be able to attend the online session at the time stated for the course description.
All times stated are British Standard Time.
To take part you will need a computer, or laptop, or tablet computer, connected to the Internet. The device you use will also need to have a camera, microphone and speakers. Most devices now have these built in, but if not you might have to buy them from a computer shop and to connect them to your device.
This course will use Zoom as its online delivery method. Zoom is very easy to use and you do not need to set up a Zoom account to use it. Near the date of your first online session you will be sent an email with a web address (or URL) that will allow you to access the course. This is called the Course Link. All you need do is click on the Course Link in the email and you will be asked to enter your name. This is the name that will be seen by your tutor and other students in the class.
Once you have entered your name you might be asked to enter a password to enter the class. The password will be included in the email sent to you. Once you enter the password you will either be taken directly into the class, or asked to wait in a virtual waiting room until the tutor is ready to let you into the class.
We have also produced a Handy Guide to Zoom [pdf] which gives you basic information on how to use it.
All courses lasting two hours have a 10 minute break in the middle. For one hour courses there is no break.
Course Fees and Rate Categories
|Hours||Weeks||Standard Rate||Internal Rate||Associate Rate|
|All fee rates quoted are for the whole course. Please note there is no early-bird discount available for the January intake courses|
Fee Categories and Discounts
- Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.
- Applies to 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).
- Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should email firstname.lastname@example.org before completing the online enrolment form.
- Students (non-Imperial College)
- Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
- City & Guilds College Association members
- Members of the Friends of Imperial College
- Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
- Friends of the South London Botanical Institute
- Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
- Harrods staff
- Historic Royal Palaces staff
- Natural History Museum staff
- Science Museum staff
- Victoria and Albert Museum staff
- Royal Geographical Society staff
- Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
- Austrian Cultural Forum staff
- Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
- Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
- Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
- Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
- Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
- Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
- Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
- Members of the London Zoological Society
- Members of the Kennel Club
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.
Applicable terms & conditions
Please read the Terms and Conditions [pdf] before enrolling on any course.
|Hours||Weeks||Autumn term||Spring term||Summer term||Summer School|
|10||10||n/a||w/c 11 Jan - w/e 27 Mar 2021 (10 weeks)*||n/a||n/a|
|* This is a 1-term course|
Web enrolment starts 23 November
Enrolment & payment are through the Imperial College eStore. Please use above booking link noting below instructions:
- Our rate categories are explained on this page and your applicable category must be selected on the eStore
- First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
- The booking process involves entering payment details before your course choice and applicant details are queried on an in-built questionnnaire which completes the process
- The following email notifications will be sent
|What is sent||When is it sent||What does it contain|
|1. Payment confirmation||Instantaneously following submission of your online application||
|2. Enrolment confirmation||Sent in due course but likely not before the end of September. Please treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received||
|3. Programme information||Usually sent Friday late afternoon the week before term starts||
|If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756
- Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the tutor, Dr Michael Paraskos at email@example.com
- Questions about your enrolment and payment should be sent to the Programme Administrator, firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.