Short course
Artistic Rivalries and Reputations

Tuesday 15 January 2019 - Tuesday 26 March 2019

  • Tuesday 15 January 2019 - Tuesday 26 March 2019

  • Seminar Room 5

  • Course price £526.00 - £699.00

  • +44 (0)20 7942 2000

    9.00 – 17.30, Monday-Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

Explore the stories behind some of the most famous artistic rivalries – including Leonardo and
Michelangelo, Manet and Monet, Matisse and Picasso, Magritte and Dalí, and Hockney and
Freud – and how they have helped build and demolish reputations from the Early Renaissance
onwards. Question everything you thought you knew about the history of art as a sort of determinant continuum, and reinstate personality and caprice at the centre of artistic tradition.

Read more
Dr Kevin Childs

Course Leader Dr Kevin Childs

Kevin Childs is a freelance writer and lecturer on culture and the arts in the United Kingdom and Italy, where he leads specialised tours of Rome, Venice and Florence. He also blogs regularly for Huffington Post and Gay Star News and has published articles and reviews in The New Statesman and The Times, amongst other publications.

I have taken many Short Courses at the V&A and I come away each week feeling inspired, stimulated by the facts, and wishing to know even more. 2015/2016 Short Course Student

Course Overview

Real or fake, the relationships between artists, schools, and even national groups are often characterised as ‘difficult’ or feud-like, bitter or comradely. Nevertheless, they have indelibly coloured our view of the history of Western art from the Renaissance to contemporary sale-room spats.

This course will consider why competition was fostered by patrons and academies, and show
how fame, personal envy, the clash between the old and the new, and even the media manufactured
reputations of today have transformed art through conflict and emulation. You will look in detail at the symbiotic role of rivalry and reputation in the history of art, rivalries between titanic individuals, between movements, even across millennia. The rise and fall of artists’ reputations are also aspects of visual culture that have shaped our view of the development of art since the Renaissance. You will also consider the influence of individuals like Vasari, the arch-mythmaker, and Francis Bacon who redefined the whole history of art in the context of his own work.


Further information

• This course has a Half Term break on 19 February • Refreshments served • Price reductions available for Seniors (60+), jobseekers (ES40 holders) and registered disabled people

Enrol Now

Short course: Artistic Rivalries and Reputations

15 January 2019 - 26 March 2019

£526.00 - £699.00

Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

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)