British Landscape Art: From Gainsborough to Goldworthy

Online course

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Landscape is everywhere; an obvious subject for art which has inspired many of Britain’s greatest painters. This course explores three centuries of struggle and passion for British landscape painting that changed the way we look at the world.

Learn from our world-class experts wherever you are, whenever suits you: watch lectures live or view the recording later in your own time. You can experience the full breadth and depth of the V&A's collections with 12 hours of study over 6 weeks. Learn at your own pace: lecture recordings and study materials, lecture notes, copies of the presentations, and additional study materials are available in our secure Microsoft Teams environment for 6 weeks after the course ends, so you'll never miss a thing. And finally, join the conversation: share your perspective with your fellow students, and support each other in your further enquiries outside of class time.

course photo
Portrait of Course Leader Justine Hopkins

Course Leader
Justine Hopkins

Justine Hopkins lectures widely in art history and design and is a registered lecturer for the Arts Society. Her most recent publication is a survey of the work of landscape artist Michael Ayrton. Landscape painting formed the basis of her PhD research, and continues to be a central interest, underpinned by long walks in wild country.

I have already booked onto my next V&A course online. I love the fact you can participate from home. The presentation, speakers and subject matter are always fascinating and excellent. Previous V&A Academy Student

Course overview

Landscape painting is generally acknowledged to be one of the glories of British art. The chosen subject of such immediately recognisable names as Thomas Gainsborough, John Constable and J.M.W. Turner; Samuel Palmer and the Pre-Raphaelites; Laura Knight, Paul Nash and Stanley Spencer. This course traces the rise of the genre: from its lowly reputation at the beginning of the 18th century, through the achievements of the 19th and early 20th centuries, to the work of landscape artists today.

We will look at the technical aspects of painting landscape, and how new practical developments and changing attitudes brought artists out of the studio to study the facts of nature at close quarters, then took them back indoors again to create abstracted visions based on memories and drawings.

Painting the landscape has always been about more than simply recreating what nature looks like; along the way we will explore the social and cultural aspects of the painted landscape at different times, and consider how artists have used the natural world as a subject through which to celebrate the past, criticise the present and suggest
possibilities for the future.


V&A Academy Online. A learning environment you can trust.

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: British Landscape Art: From Gainsborough to Goldworthy

20 February 2024 - 26 March 2024


Call to book +44 (0)20 7942 2000

Need help enrolling? Talk to the admissions team:

+44 (0)20 7942 2000

Open 10.00 - 13.00, Monday to Sunday (closed 24-26 December)

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