Art History

Art History

Lecturer: Dr Caroline Levisse

Event Hours(1)

  • Tuesday

    10:00 am - 11:30 am

    On Zoom

Caroline’s Art History classes are running very successfully on Zoom. Her autumn series, ‘Mirrors and Reflection in Art’, was very popular and her lecture on Artemisia Gentileschi was very well received.

From 26th January she is running a series of lectures on a new theme – “Colour in Art”

At the crossroad of intuition and science, colour has been the subject of many artistic debates. We will study what colour is, how it works, and how it has been used by artists to achieve specific effects. We will start by addressing the cultural dimension of colour perception and see how colour has long been devalued in Western classical thought. On the other hand, many modern artists, such Matisse, have considered colour as a positive value and have made it a focus of their art. We will then look at pigments and paint, and follow the story of the colour blue throughout the centuries. We will then engage in an exploration of colour theory, which will take us from Turner, through Sonia Delaunay to Bridget Riley. While experiencing and analysing their works, we will learn about colour interactions. Finally, we will consider colour as a symbolic language, one that finds resonances in music and literature. Kandinsky and Whistler will be two key examples.

Dates and Outline for the series:

26 January – To be in colour or not to be?

2 February – A focus on blue: pigments and symbolism

9 February – More on pigments and their histories

16 February – Half term

23 February – How can we measure colour?

2 March – Colour theory in early modern art 

9 March – Colour perception as a subject in contemporary art

16 March – Symbolism: when colour is a “language” of its own

23 March – A focus on red, meanings and uses throughout the years and civilisations

30 March – Synaesthesia: colour beyond the fine arts (literature, music…)


For details on how to join Caroline’s sessions, please contact the Avenue Club Office on 020 8948 8807 or e-mail

About the lecturer

Dr Caroline Levisse, an art historian based in London, was born in France where she studied art history before moving to Copenhagen to take up a teaching post. While there, she completed a PhD on the relationship between art and religion in contemporary Scandinavian art.  She then moved to London and started teaching art history with adult education providers. She has since developed a range of courses focusing on 19th and early 20th century Western art and has published articles in both French and English in academic journals as well as magazines and newspapers.