Late Medieval to Early Renaissance Europe 1450-1500

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

This is a golden age of renaissance art, encompassing late Donatello, Botticelli, Bellini, Leonardo and the young Dürer. Explore their achievements alongside the V&A’s spectacular collections of sculpture, metalwork and textiles.

  • Learn from our world-class experts wherever, whenever: watch lectures live or view the recording later in your own time.

  • Breadth and depth: more than 40 hours of study over 12 weeks.

  • Consolidate your learning: download lecture notes, copies of the presentations, and additional study materials from our secure Microsoft Teams learning environment.

  • Join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

  • Learn at your own pace: lecture recordings and study materials are available for up to 12 weeks after the course ends, so you'll never miss a minute.

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course photo
Portrait of Course Director Dr Paula Nuttall

Course Director
Dr Paula Nuttall

Dr Paula Nuttall is an art historian specialising in the Renaissance and has taught on the V&A Academy's Medieval and Renaissance course since its inception in 1993. She studied at the Courtauld Institute, writing her Ph.D thesis on artistic relations between the Netherlands and Italy, on which she has published widely.

I have learned SO MUCH thanks to your AMAZING courses. The standard is really high, stimulating and thought provoking. I have loved every minute and I think all the lecturers are fantastic. Previous Late Medieval to Early Renaissance Europe Course Attendee

Course overview

This was a golden age in the visual arts, from the late work of Donatello in the 1450s to the emergence of Dürer around 1500. It is widely associated with famous painters - Botticelli, Mantegna, Bellini, Leonardo da Vinci, Memling and Bosch - but there were also talented sculptors and architects such as Riemenschneider, Verrocchio and Alberti, and countless anonymous artists working in a range of media from goldsmiths’ work to manuscript painting and tapestry, all encountered on this course.

It is an era of tradition and innovation. While religious life provided the context for a continuing demand for altarpieces, devotional objects and tombs, growing interest in classical antiquity encouraged new art forms and subjects, from mythological paintings to bronze statuettes. New styles and techniques travelled between Florence and the rest of Italy, Flanders and the rest of Europe. Alongside established elite patrons, the wealthy urban middling class fuelled demand for domestic artworks, including portraits and maiolica, while the invention of printing generated new markets for images and books, and radically transformed the reach of art and ideas.


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V&A Academy Online courses are built using the latest Microsoft software. Tune in to expert lectures live, or catch up later on demand. Download handouts and presentations. Join the discussion in a secure, closed class environment, wherever you are.

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Online course: Late Medieval to Early Renaissance Europe 1450-1500

18 April 2023 - 4 July 2023


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+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 9.30 - 17.30, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

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