Symbolism in art B

The Symbolism A, B and C courses can be taken separately (in any order).

N.B. This course is taught in Dutch.
In this course, we dive into the world of symbols, personifications and allegories. Christian, secular and mythological symbolism are covered. We look at the attributes by which you can recognise various saints; we wander through Biblical and apocryphal stories; we get to know the main mythological figures and delve into the seemingly superficial representations of 'everyday life' that are secretly packed with messages. This course thus covers the entire history of art. You will get answers to questions such as How did Mary get her mythological companion the unicorn? Why did Orpheus lose his Eurydice in the underworld? And why is a seemingly superficial work like Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog, nevertheless a work full of meaning? This will give you tools for viewing Christian, mythological and secular art alike.


In Symbolism in Art B, each lesson we cover the symbolism of a specific subject or theme. Discussing Mary & The Holy Spirit, The Last Supper and Last Judgement, among others, we dive deep into the meaning of each object or figure of The Ambassadors by Holbein and The School of Athens of Raphael; we see proverbs and morality in the Golden Age; and how the emperor used art as a propaganda tool. The final lecture is a guest lecture by Yvonne Hilgenkamp on Christian symbolism in modern art.


How does that work online?

You take this course online from your own computer or tablet. All you need is a good internet connection and sound. Teacher and images will appear on your screen automatically. If you cannot attend 'live', you can watch the replay afterwards. Registration is therefore still possible until after lesson 2 of the course.


Free trial lesson

Want to know if this course and taking it online is for you? You can join lesson 1 of this course as a free trial lesson without any obligations. You can register for this free trial lesson directly via this link.


Course details

7x Tuesday evening, 29 October 2024
29/10/202419:30 - 21:30
05/11/202419:30 - 21:30
12/11/202419:30 - 21:30
19/11/202419:30 - 21:30
26/11/202419:30 - 21:30
03/12/202419:30 - 21:30
10/12/2024NO LES
17/12/202419.30 - 21.30 (guest lecture)
Registration closes 17 November

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Reviews of this course

I enjoyed this course. Found it very interesting and Hanneke gives clear structured lectures. What particularly appealed to me about the two symbolism courses is that quite complex subject matter is still made understandable, fun, accessible without lowering the level. So I am very pleased with the course, also especially because they are online and can be watched again quietly for a second or third time.
About Symbolism in art B

Lecturer of this course

Hanneke Lenders

Hanneke Lenders

Art historian Hanneke Lenders is one of KLU's lecturers as well as its manager. Her specialism is originally in early Christian art and late medieval prayer books, but over the years she has added other loves such as Mondriaan and modernist architecture. Hanneke teaches several courses for beginners such as the course Introduction to Art History. So she is the one who will guide you through the whole history of art.

Recommended literature

Should you wish to delve further into the subject of this course, we recommend the following books. This is not compulsory literature for the course.