Late Medieval to Early Renaissance Europe: 1380-1450

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

From Flanders to Florence, explore the transition from Gothic to Renaissance, from the innovations of Van Eyck in Flanders to those of early Renaissance Florence, alongside the V&A’s spectacular collections of late medieval textiles, manuscripts and renaissance sculpture…

  • 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 absolutely adored the course, it has been the biggest treat and I hope to do another next year. Previous Late Medieval to Early Renaissance Europe course attendee

Course overview

Continuity and change define this period. Gothic reached its apogee at the courts of Prague, Burgundy and France around 1400, where princes commissioned artworks of superlative craftsmanship and beauty. Meanwhile an increasingly wealthy urban elite in cities like Bruges, Valencia and Florence expanded the reach of artistic patronage. Established art forms such as tapestry and embroidery, manuscripts and metalwork continued to be prized, but new attitudes, styles and techniques were also emerging. In Florence the rediscovery of classical antiquity, fuelled by humanist studies, contributed to the creation of a new style by Donatello, Ghiberti, Masaccio and Brunelleschi, while in Flanders the Van Eycks broke new boundaries in painting.

Joining Paula to reveal these medieval and renaissance riches are Dr Sally Dormer, V&A Course Director; Dr Catherine Reynolds, Christie’s manuscript consultant; Dr Jim Harris, Teaching Curator, Ashmolean Museum; Dr Dorigen Caldwell, Senior Lecturer, Birkbeck, and V&A Curators Peta Motture, Catherine Yvard and Michaela Zöschg.


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Online course: Late Medieval to Early Renaissance Europe: 1380-1450

10 January 2023 - 28 March 2023


Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

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