European Art History Through the Ages: A Ten Part Survey Course with Sabry Amroussi

European Art History Through the Ages: A Ten Part Survey Course with Sabry Amroussi


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Join an expert Art Historian, Sabry Amroussi, for a ten-part Art History Course that will take you from the Mosaics of Late Byzantium to the Artistic Revolution of the 19th Century. Together we'll turn the pages on Mr. Amroussi's favorite chapters of the art history canon. Each 90-minute conversation will unveil a new destination in which we will meet and greet the greatest artists of the day. Participants will come away from each lecture with a deeper understanding of the distinct innovations and principles which delineate the artist productions of each region of Europe. Though this course is by no means a comprehensive overview, we will be traversing more than a thousand years of art history. Together we will take a deep dive into the "must-sees" by the masters, as well as spotlight the contributions made by each era's overlooked gems – who reached fame post-mortem.

This series of seminars is designed to be enjoyed as a ten-part course, please review the lecture descriptions below for a further course outline.

Lecture 1 - An Introduction to Western Art: From Byzantium to the 13th Century

We begin our journey after the fall of the Roman empire, venturing into the glories of Byzantium. We're time-traveling via the Carolingian renaissance in Aachen – heading into what some wrongfully call “the Dark Ages”. We will take an up-close look at golden mosaics of Ravenna as we make our way into the Palatine Chapel of Charlemagne. This iconic pilgrimage site is where religious art first starts to shape itself in a truly unique western language of art and architecture.

Lecture 2 -  Courtiers and Burghers of Europe: Medieval Artistry

In our second installment, the story turns Gothic; cities and courts become important, and a middle class of Burghers brings a level of prosperity hitherto unknown in Europe. From the magnificent Cathedrals of France and England, Medieval Miniatures, and ravishing Reliquaries, it will be a remarkable journey to behold. 

Lecture 3 - Tradition and Innovation: The 15th Century in Italy

We’ll have a front-row seat as the Italians (literally) dig up their past for reinterpretation, and the Italian Renaissance is begun. From the experiments of Leonardo, the virtuosity of Mantegna, and the mysterious creations of Piero della Francesca we will together venture into this Golden Age of Italian Art.

Lecture 4 - Tradition and Innovation: The 15th Century in Northern Europe

Our fourth conversation will examine the artistic revolution that takes place in Flanders. We’ll discover how the Flemish 'Primitives' changed the way art was made forever. Our expert will reveal the majestic creations of Jan van Eyck, as well as those by lesser-known painters and craftsmen, as we journey to the Duchy of Burgundy.

Lecture 5 - Harmony Attained Between Light and Colour: Italian Art in the 16th Century

It's the turn of the high renaissance, as artists in different regions of Italia find their own ways to tell stories and express themselves. Together we’ll travel back in time to visit the courts of Italy to see the works of Rafael, Michelangelo, and their lesser-known but intriguing counterparts.

Lecture 6 - New Methodology Grows: Germany and the Netherlands in the 16th Century

The influence of Humanism and Protestantism looms large over 16th-century art, creating the oeuvres of Albrecht Durer, Hans Holbein, and many other Northern Masters. In this talk, we will go to Germany and the low countries to discuss the Northern Rennaisance

Lecture 7 -  Visions of Power and Glory: Catholic Europe in the 17th Century

While the reformation changes the artistic and social landscape of the North, Catholic Italy hits back and hits back hard. The full force of the Baroque propaganda machine is the subject of this seminar, taking us to the Rome of the 17th century to meet Bernini, Caravaggio, and Artemisia Gentileschi – as well as some Flemish and Spanish artists like no less than Rubens and Velazquez.

Lecture 8 - Holding a Mirror to Nature: Holland in the 17th Century

The Dutch Golden Age is the specialty of Sabry Amroussi, and in this talk he will take you to the 17th-century cities of Delft, Amsterdam, and Haarlem to discuss legends like Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals, and put them in their proper context, intertwining paintings with architecture, objects, and historic tidbits of 17th century Holland

Lecture 9 - Towards an Age of Reason: England and France in the 18th Century

In our ninth conversation, we will enlighten ourselves (pun intended) with the art and culture of the 18th century in France and Britain. From the sweeping country estates and houses of England to the salons and castles of Paris, we will bear witness to a changing (and sometimes more rational) world where science and art take center stage. 

Lecture 10 - Revolution in Permanence: Europe in the 19th Century

Finally, join us as revolutions sweep Europe and Romantic tendencies cast their long shadow in art and culture. With Delacroix and Gericault as important protagonists, we will travel just to the threshold of what we now would call modern art. There will be time interspersed between these lectures for participants to ask questions. But we’ll leave plenty of time here in our final installment for Q&A. 

Sabry Amroussi is an art historian and writer living and working in Amsterdam. He specializes in the art of the Dutch Golden Age, mainly in the works of Rembrandt and his school, and also has a keen interest in the Jewish history of Amsterdam. He lectures and teaches on both subjects, and gives art historical tours all across Europe. As a true omnivore when it comes to art, culture, and even cuisine, he has worked with and for major museums and collectors, such as the LACMA, Rijksmuseum, van Gogh Museum and the P de Boer collection on Amsterdam. As a guide for Context, he is eager to share this knowledge in real life, always with a big scoop of humor, ofter intermingling art with social life, cuisine, and history.

How does it work?

This is a ten-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.

Is there a reading list in advance?

Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. These will be provided at the course's conclusion.

How long are the lectures?

Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.

How much is the course?

The course is $350 for ten lectures.

Is a recording available?

Yes. If you need to miss a lecture, you will be sent a recording after the event.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 23 reviews
96%
(22)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Anonymous (Bellmore, US)

This is an absolutely wonderful introduction to the history of European art. By focusing in on selected works, the broader trends become much more understandable. I do not think there is anyone more enthusiastic than Sabry!

N
Nancy (Victoria, CA)

Always a treat. This lecture was fabulous. (I know they all are) Sabry talked about Flemish and Burgundian paintings.

M
Marty h (The Bronx, US)
Flemish medieval works

Excellent. He provides such delicious morsels about every aspect of the topic being explored.

C
Catherine (Boulder, US)
Another excellent seminar

We are really enjoying Sabry’s style of looking more deeply at a smaller number of works. I think that he is very skilled at having a great deal of knowledge that he dips into with each piece of art. He also continues his theme between seminars. We really enjoy his enthusiasm and his sideways connections to anecdotes re the artists and their time. Keep up the great work, sabry!

N
Nancy (Victoria, CA)

Guest did not leave comment

Customer Reviews

Based on 23 reviews
96%
(22)
4%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
A
Anonymous (Bellmore, US)

This is an absolutely wonderful introduction to the history of European art. By focusing in on selected works, the broader trends become much more understandable. I do not think there is anyone more enthusiastic than Sabry!

N
Nancy (Victoria, CA)

Always a treat. This lecture was fabulous. (I know they all are) Sabry talked about Flemish and Burgundian paintings.

M
Marty h (The Bronx, US)
Flemish medieval works

Excellent. He provides such delicious morsels about every aspect of the topic being explored.

C
Catherine (Boulder, US)
Another excellent seminar

We are really enjoying Sabry’s style of looking more deeply at a smaller number of works. I think that he is very skilled at having a great deal of knowledge that he dips into with each piece of art. He also continues his theme between seminars. We really enjoy his enthusiasm and his sideways connections to anecdotes re the artists and their time. Keep up the great work, sabry!

N
Nancy (Victoria, CA)

Guest did not leave comment