Magic, Mystery and Myth

There is a tendency to think of 19th century European painting in terms of Realist and ‘Establishment’ art. Yet a trend for the strange, imaginary and fantastic also pervaded painting at this time. This course will look at how magical, mysterious and mythical subjects were interpreted in 19th century art.

Images of seductive and dangerous women, dream-like landscapes, apparitions, nightmares, beauty and death will characterise the course. Many well-known artists depicted these subjects on canvas – Goya, William Blake, Henry Fuseli, Whistler, Munch, Beardsley and Klimt. We will also look at lesser known artists, for example, Gustave Moreau, Fernand Khnopff and Richard Dadd.