Impressionistic landscape painting of a a river, trees on the riverbank, buildings on the horizon and a white sailboat.
Claude Monet (1840-1926), Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat, 1874. © National Gallery of Ireland.Credit

Online course

Online Art Appreciation Course: The Art of Light

04 October 18.00 - 19.15

Online via ZOOM

Tickets: €150 per course

  • 20% discount for Friends of the Gallery
  • 10% discount for over 65s/unwaged/students
  • Special offer until 11 January: 10% discount when all three courses booked together


Our 8-week evening courses are the perfect way to learn more about art. Discover little-known works from the Gallery’s collection, get to know old favourites in more depth, and explore other great collections of the world with our expert art historians and guest speakers.

Course dates:

  • Tuesdays, 6pm–7.15pm
  • Course runs from 4 October to 22 November 2022
  • Classes held: October (4, 11, 18, 25), November (1, 8, 15, 22)

Course topic:

For centuries, light has been a key element in some of the most powerful and enigmatic works in the history of art. Light was used to establish narratives, manipulate compositions, and electrify atmospheres. Tantalising generations of artists, light moved beyond its function as a tool to become an allegory and subject in its own right.

In this course, Dr Sarah Wilson will explore the artistic efforts to capture and translate the effects of light. We will consider the motivations of artists who utilised light, and the effects of such experimentation on wider movements. This course will cover a range of topics from Caravaggio’s dramatically lit compositions to the central role of light in Impressionistic paintings, Turner’s worship of the sun, and Harry Clarke’s ethereal stained glass windows. Invited experts will also contribute to the course, and further details will be available closer to the time.

Course format:

  • Each class takes place online using ZOOM webinar and includes time for questions and answers.
  • Each session will be recorded and made available to participants for one week afterwards to allow you to catch up, or watch again.
  • Each class will be closed captioned live.


  • €150 per course
  • Book tickets online now
  • Become a member today and enjoy 20% off the course fee, and many other exclusive benefits
  • 10% discount for over 65s/unwaged/students
  • Special offer until 11 January 2022: further 10% discount when all three courses are booked together

About the tutor: 

Dr Sarah Wilson is an art historian specialising in Roman antiquity and religious identity. She has an undergraduate degree in Fine Art (DIT) and completed her postgraduate studies in Art History (UCD). She has developed several lecture series for the National Gallery of Ireland that encompass a broad range of topics from Classical influences to Japanese and Aboriginal art. Her essay on Magna Mater and the pignora imperii was recently published in Late Antique Palatine Architecture: Palaces and Palace Culture: Patterns of Transculturation (Brepols, 2020).

Other courses in the series:

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