Thursday 3 December saw 18 art historians and 11 classicists head to London for an enriching cultural experience. The students of Classical Civilisation were dropped at the British Museum with Mr Leonardis, to learn more about the myths and stories associated with various objects, particularly related to what the students are reading in A Level Classical Civilisation: Greek Tragedy (Medea, Electra, Agamemnon, Antigone), Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad. Similarly, the A2 Classicists learnt more about their module, Greek Art and Architecture, focusing in particular on the art-historical problems associated with the continuous frieze of the Parthenon sculptures. They also interrogated artworks such as the 6th century black-figure pottery and the 5th century red-figure pottery.
Meanwhile, the Art Historians headed to the National Gallery to study in particular, Holbein’s Ambassadors, Titian’s Bacchus & Ariadne and The Arnolfini Portrait. Many of the works the students have studied up to this point were on display, and we admired the scale of the works in situ, plus the closer appreciation of colour and other details. In marked contrast to this, the art historians then progressed on to the Tate Modern, to be challenged by an array of thought-provoking and controversial artworks, from Rothko to Horn.
The classicists ended up at the UCL campus, utilising one or two of Mr Leonardis’ connections, in order to give students an insight into the careers associated with gallery work and postgraduate education programmes.