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Themes at the National Galleries of Scotland: Love

Course Times & Enrolment

Tuesdays from 20th February 2024 (Code AA244-205) Tuesdays from
20th February 2024 10:30am - 11:30am • (5 classes)
Scottish National Gallery • Tutor: Bill Hare MA
This course is now closed for enrolments

Course Summary

A five-week course based around a key theme and focusing on one or two paintings each week. This course is intended to have a variety of iterations as different themes within NGS are explored with guidance from a specialist tutor.

Please note, this course takes place in the Scottish National Gallery (meet at the Information Desk at the Gallery).

Course Details

Pre-requisites for enrolment


Content of Course

The contents of the course will vary depending on the chosen theme of the course, and on the current displays at NGS. Example for the Love theme:

1. Daddi – “Triptych” – Divine and Human Charity.

2. Verrochio – “The Virgin Adoring the Christ Child” – Ecclesiastical Devotion.

3. Hamilton – “Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus” – Brotherly Love.

4. Watteau – “Fetes Venitiennes” – The Garden of Love.

5. Constable – “The Vale of Dedham” – Pastoral Sentiments.

Teaching method(s)

Gallery-based tutor presentation and class discussion.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students should be able to:

  • Identify and discuss a number of artworks reflecting the course’s theme.

  • Analyse critically the role of the theme in art from different periods, styles etc.

  • Place artworks and their theme in a broader context.


Core Readings


  • Clarke, Michael et al, 2000. Companion Guide to the National Gallery of Scotland Edinburgh: National Gallery of Scotland

  • Gombrich E. H., 4th ed., 2000. The Story of Art. London: Phaidon.

  • Lynton, Norbert et al, 1985. Looking at Paintings. London: Open University/Channel 4

Web Sources

Class Handouts

There will be a course outline and programme to be handed out at the first class.


If you have questions regarding the course or enrolment, please contact COL Reception at Paterson's Land by email or by phone 0131 650 4400.

Student support

If you have a disability, learning difficulty or health condition which may affect your studies, please let us know by ticking the 'specific support needs' box on your course application form. This will allow us to make appropriate adjustments in advance and in accordance with your rights under the Equality Act 2010. For more information please visit the Student Support section of our website.