Analysing Paintings

Analysing Paintings

Seated woman looking at three large paintings in a gallery

Welcome to this online course, which is an introduction to the tools and techniques of formal analysis for students and for anyone who is interested in art. It is freely available for anyone to use, and assumes no particular prior knowledge of the visual arts. The course guides you through some of the key aspects of form - from the colours in the painting to the materials used to paint it - and explores a number of examples through guided activities.

Analysing paintings acknowledgements

“I am very grateful to the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures of the University of Leeds for the Enterprise Knowledge Transfer grant which supported the development of this project. My particular thanks go to Dr Melissa Douglas-Caldin for her invaluable work as a consultant on the project. I would have been lost without her expertise as an art historian, a teacher of art, and a practising artist.

I am grateful to those students with whom I have studied art, in the Departments of Italian of the Universities of Cambridge and Leeds; special thanks go to those Leeds students studying the module 'Experiencing art in the Italian Renaissance' in 2007-08, who looked at an early version of this course, and some of whom helped with the case studies.

Thanks, too, to the participants in the National Workshop on Teaching Visual Arts to students of modern languages in Cambridge in November 2007, who made many helpful suggestions for this course.

Of course, any errors or inaccuracies in this course are down to me.”

Professor Matthew Treherne

The University accepts no responsibility for the content of external sites.

This resource was created with the help of a University of Leeds Faculty of Arts Enterprise Knowledge Transfer Grant.

© Matthew Treherne, School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT.