Having a difficult time trying to decide what to give a loved one for Christmas? Are you thumbing your way through catalogues, gift guides in newspapers and magazines and going blind from scrolling the internet?

Why not give a gift that provides enjoyment, and could even last a year? Here is a suggestion that will provide a satisfactory and well-appreciated gift for the art lover in your life.

In 2022 the National Gallery of Ireland (NGI) will run three new online art appreciation courses, therefore satisfying participants in any part of the country – or even someone living further afield. Scheduled for winter, spring and autumn, the individual eight-week evening courses offer the perfect opportunity to learn more about art, and also to discover lesser-known works from the national collection.

Each unique course will be hosted by expert art historians and guest speakers. Launching in January 2022, Artist, Writer, Image: Literary and Artistic Connections in the NGI, connects visual art and the written word with art historian Dr Kathryn Milligan.

From March to May 2022, art historian and NGI guide Jessica Fahy will explore a time of great change in Rebel Artists – 20th Century Irish Women Artists.

Finally, from October, The Art of Light moves from Caravaggio through to impressionistic art with Dr Sara Wilson.

Question-and-answer sessions will allow participants to pose questions and comments to the facilitators. Each session will be recorded and made available to view for one week afterwards. Tickets are on sale now at €150 per course and a 10% discount is available if booking all three. Each session will run from 6-7.15pm on Tuesday evenings.

The NGI houses the nation’s collection of European and Irish art from about 1300 to the present day, with an extensive library and archive.

The winter course commences on 11 January and will delve into the NGI’s holdings of paintings, drawings, prints and library collections. Guest speakers will appear on some sessions. Kathryn Milligan is an art historian specialising in 19th- and 20th-century Irish art.

In spring, starting on 29 March, the course will explore the early 20th century – a time of great change in Ireland. This escape from the colonial past was mirrored by the women’s liberation movement, and this spirit of rebellion was simultaneously expressed in the overturning of the rules and traditions in western art.

This course will also look at the art created by women artists in Ireland and abroad during the period of 1910-1970. The facilitator Jessica Fahy is a freelance art historian, and is on the lecturer and guide panels for the NGI, the Hugh Lane Gallery and University College Dublin School of Access and Lifelong Learning.

Finally, 4 October sees the start of the autumn series. Throughout this course, Sarah Wilson will explore the artistic efforts to capture and translate the effects of light, while covering a range of topics including Caravaggio’s dramatically lit compositions to the role of light in impressionistic paintings. Sarah is an art historian specialising in Roman antiquity and religious identity.

Find out more at nationalgallery.ie

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