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The University of Southampton
Lifelong Learning

Artists and Politicians: Exploring Relations between Fine Art and Politics

Can fine art be independent by politics? Can art intervene in social relations? Relations between fine art and politics have always been important part of art history.

Winchester School of Art
Winchester School of Art

This module provides a journey through art history that explores these complex and sometimes controversial relationships. It focuses on examples from African, European and American fine art history dating from the time of Ancient Egypt to 21st century (see Summary of syllabus content). Thus the module explores how important relations between fine art and politics are in forming art styles and ideas, how did artists and politicians develop them, what kind of relations were formed, does fine art necessary reflects on political or ideological ideas, etc. The subjects are arranged both thematically and chronologically: from the one hand they provide different aspects of connections between art and politics each week, from the other hand they follow the chronological development of fine art histories.

This module commences with a detailed treatment of fine art in Ancient Egypt, focuses on the relations between artists and monarchs by exploring the examples of Goya and David; examines fine art and dictatorships in 20th century Europe (focusing on relations between Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and fine art) and concludes by exploring fine art and democracy in our century - looking at some interesting examples of artists and their relations to art galleries and museums as examples of institutions connected to power.

This module combines lectures, a seminar component (discussions and analyses of artworks) and a workshop element. The latter (one and a half hour per three hour session) explores various artistic styles and techniques and provides more detailed understanding of relations between fine art and politics, based not only on theoretical, but also on tacit knowledge.


Date: Saturday 18 October

Time: 10.00-13.00

Duration: 8 weeks

Location: Winchester School of Art, Winchester




Booking is completed through the Online Store, please click here to book your place.

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