Romping through three thousand years of Art History, this course will focus on how Classical mythology has been received and interpreted in works of art from ancient times to the present day.
Re-telling selected myths in all their gory and sensual details, the sessions will explore the ways in which wide-ranging artists across the ages have taken inspiration from the Classical Past and used the timeless stories in their practice from Antiquity to the Enlightenment and from the Renaissance to Contemporary Art.
Please note this workshop will be taught solely online via Google Meet
All courses are subject to student numbers and will only run if sufficient numbers are achieved. Plymouth College of Art reserves the right to cancel a course if insufficient student numbers are recruited.
How will I learn?
Lessons will be taught online and are interactive. Classes will use Google Meet to demonstrate software and allow participants to speak with the tutor and each other. Google Classroom will be used as a means of communication outside of class. Information will be shared using Google Drive.
Each week your tutor will give a full live demonstration that will be recorded so that learners can refer back to after the lesson has finished. There will be a discussion at the end of each class and time for students to try the techniques demonstrated in class and ask questions.
A critique of students' work will take place at the beginning of each lesson so that members of the class can share work, ideas, and your tutor can monitor and help with your progress.
Gods and goddesses: A Rich Pantheon of Inspiration. An introduction to the main Greek gods and goddess found in works of art - their qualities, character, responsibilities, and typical depiction. Students will explore a number of works of art from across art history featuring deities, the artistic techniques used and effectiveness of the artist’s choices.
Metamorphoses: The Appeal and Message of Transformative Myth. Looking at artistic methodology across the ages to investigate why certain myths have been selected and what they represent for the artists who choose to depict them.
Wicked Women: The stereotype of the Femme Fatale interrogated and critiqued. The stereotype of the dangerous woman who lures men to their doom has a lengthy heritage and appears many times in Classical literature: witches, seductresses and murderesses all feature in Greek myth. This class seeks to explore how this theme has been interpreted and reinvented by artists since classical times including the response of feminist artists.
Heroes and Monsters: Role models for good behaviour or warnings for sinners? Through the stories of key Greek heroes and the monsters they encounter, students will explore works of art that show notions of what it means to be a hero and how the idea of the monster is appropriated by different generations. Some of the most famous stories from Greek mythology provide the backdrop here: Jason and the Argonauts, The Trojan War, Odysseus, Perseus and the Gorgon, and the myth of Oedipus.
The Underworld | Journeys to the Dark Side: In this final session, students will explore the various underworld accounts from ancient literature and how they have been interpreted and appropriated by artists across the centuries. From extreme punishments to rewards, they will investigate what makes such myths appealing and enduring, even within a secular context far removed from the religion that underpinned the original stories.
What will I achieve?
By the end of the course, students will have a good appreciation of many key Classical myths that have proven to be very influential to artists including detailed knowledge of selected works of art across the entirety of art history concerning the conception, composition and execution of the work. You will learn to understand why certain myths have particular appeal, including anthropological and sociological theories that have informed artists across time e.g. psychoanalysis and postmodernism.
What skills will I need?
Good computer literacy is essential, you must be able to effectively use a computer in order to watch and interact with the tutor on this course.
Equipment & Materials
You will need:
- A laptop or desktop computer or tablet
- Adequate internet connection*
- Google account for Google Meet/Classroom access
- All handouts to be supplied electronically by lecturer
*In order for you to receive the best possible experience for this online course your internet connection must be fast enough for you to clearly watch demonstrations by the tutor. Unfortunately Plymouth College of Art is not liable for any refunds if you are experiencing any technical difficulties due to your own internet connection not working effectively.