Symbolism of non-Western art

In this course Symbolism of Non-Western Art, you will be introduced to the symbols and meaning of art from Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The meaning of images we see in the West is usually rooted in Christianity or the mythology of the Greeks and Romans. They are images to which we are accustomed. It is different for representations from Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism or ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, for example. This is why lecturer Barry Heinrichs introduces you to the images and symbols of these religions and cultures. Think of the Islamic Alhambra, Persian and Ottoman book and tapestry art; Buddhist temples and monasteries, the many gods and heroes of Hindu art; the hieroglyphs and gods of Ancient Egypt and the mythological reliefs of Mesopotamia. In the final lesson, they come together nicely and Barry also shows you the similarities with our Western art. The format of the lessons is as follows:

  1. Introduction & Egyptian symbolism
  2. Mesopotamia, Sumeria, Akkad, Assyria, Persia
  3. Islam
  4. Buddhism
  5. Hinduism
  6. Interesting exceptions and hybrid forms


How does that work online?

You follow this lecture online from your own computer or tablet. All you need is a good internet connection and sound. Lecturer and images will automatically appear on your screen. If you cannot attend 'live', you can watch the replay of the lesson another time. look back. 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.

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Reviews of this course

I found this course very fascinating. I watched it with great interest. The free trial lesson pulled me over the upset, as initially I thought the subject matter would not suit me that much. But Barry certainly convinced me. With a wide range of illustrations and a pleasant and understandable narrative style, he introduced me to a hitherto fairly unknown world. Thanks for that.
About Symbolism of non-Western art

Lecturer of this course

Barry Heinrichs

Barry Heinrichs

Barry Heinrichs is an art historian. Driven by a curiosity for what moves artists, for the unknown and the anomalous in art, Barry Heinrichs has developed over the years into an all-round art historian who gives lectures and courses, organises guided tours and guides art tours that deal with all topics within the field of art history - ancient, modern and contemporary - and especially the connection between them.

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.