Easter Revision Study Day April 2019

Barnsley House Revision Study Day for Pre-U Paper 1 – Analytical Studies.


An opportunity for CIE Pre-U students to develop greater confidence on Paper 1 Analytical Studies in advance of the paper on 14th May 2019.

  • 18.04.19 All day
  • Barnsley House near Cirencester 
  • Excellent venue with cinema and board rooms
  • Lunch and drinks provided
  • Expert advice and tuition
  • Revision of 30 case studies
  • Past paper, mark schemes & exemplars provided 

See flyer for further details:

Revision flyer

Food for Thought: An Upcoming Talk on Still Life

  • Talk Title – ‘Objects of Desire’ Still Life Painting and its Legacy in Modernism
  • Date – 20th March
  • Time – 12pm
  • Venue – The Lansdowne Club, Mayfair, London

Talk Synopsis

This illustrated talk aims to analyse still life from its inception as an independent term in Dutch inventories in the seventeenth century in order to appreciate the painting of inanimate objects as a reflection of society. Still lifes can stand as expressions of patriotic rather than personal pride in a newly independent and prosperous nation. On the other hand, such still lifes have been identified as vanitas pieces; so-called ‘moral compasses’ designed to invite viewers to recognise the flimsiness of earthly life and pleasures. This paradigm provided Modern artists with a platform upon which to build, and responding to Cézanne, the language created by the Cubists saw art as part of everyday life. This idea gave freedom in subsequent movements and their legacies from Dada and Surrealism to Pop, as pioneers of the avant-garde sought new modes of expression to capture the zeitgeist.


Forthcoming course at Barnsley House

Hosted by Arcadia Education for Art History, join us on Sunday 2nd December 2018 for a festive sojourn through a series of evocative winter landscapes in the comfort of our cinema room at Barnsley House. Nick Nelson will endeavour to bring seasonal sacred and secular landscapes to life via an array of slides and short film clips as we celebrate artists of the western tradition from Patinir to Pollock. Decoding the semiotics synonymous with Caspar David Friedrich’s winter landscapes alongside Renaissance masterpieces celebrating the journey of the Magi makes for a fascinating run into the festive season.


Timings for the day:

09:30 Arrival

10:00 – 11:15 Session 1

11:15 – 11:45 Coffee & biscuits

11:45 – 13:00 Session 2

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch (light lunch is provided)

14:00 – 15:30 Session 3

Contact Rachel Chadwick at Barnsley House for venue-specific enquiries: or Katie Nelson on 07720775087 in order to book a place

Forthcoming Course at Barnsley House, September 2018

Future Study Day at Barnsley House: Sunday 16 September 2018

‘Still Life in Art – Food for Thought’

  • Location: Barnsley House, Barnsley, Cirencester, Glos. GL7 5EE
  • Date: 16.09.18 | 10:00am – 4:00pm (See timings below)
  • Cost: £55 to include morning coffee & biscuits, a light lunch and tea plus tutoring for the day (parking available)
  • Book Now: Contact Katie Nelson on 07720775087

Timings for the day:

09:30 Arrival

10:00 – 11:15 Session 1

11:15 – 11:45 Coffee & biscuits

11:45 – 13:00 Session 2

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch (light lunch is provided)

14:00 – 15:30 Session 3

Dubbed the ‘Cinderella of subject matter’ still lifes can stand as expressions of patriotic rather than personal pride in a newly independent and prosperous nation such as Holland during the Dutch Golden Age. Due to the increased interest in botany, horticulture and the phenomenon of ‘tulip mania’, still life painting first germinated in the Netherlands during the early 1600s, before fully flowering in the late eighteenth century. On the other hand, such still lifes have been identified as vanitas pieces, so-called ‘moral compasses’ designed to remind the viewer of the ephemeral nature of earthly possessions. The notion of painting inanimate objects changes through the ages as a reflection of society, from the rhopography of the Spanish bodegónes to ‘visions of plenty’ as an exaggeration of wealth in elaborate banquet scenes. Furthermore, Picasso pioneered Cubism as a new visual language for the café culture of the Parisian avant-garde.

To book a place please contact Katie on 07720775097 or katehewer@hotmail,com

Forthcoming Study Day on The Human Figure in Art

Barnsley House Art History Study Day with Arcadia Education:

‘Appraising & Reappraising the Human Form through Art’

  • Location: Barnsley House, Barnsley, Cirencester, Glos. GL7 5EE
  • Date: 03.06.18 | 10:00am – 3:30pm (See timings below)
  • Cost: £55 to include morning coffee & biscuits, a light lunch and tutoring for the day
  • Book Now: Contact Katie Nelson on 07720775087 or Rachel Chadwick on 01285 740000


The ancient Greeks captured perfectly the ‘body beautiful’ in emulating the idealised athletes and deities of antiquity. Since such time, the nude has continued to be a major concern despite, or maybe because of, its entrenched position in the Western canon. Post-World War Two in particular, four British heavyweights of the figurative tradition sought to reappraise the human form. Starting with The School of London, new approaches to the representation of the body were pioneered by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud. Both artists explored existentialism, voyeurism and the vagaries of the human condition. Furthermore, in the early twenty-first century, Antony Gormley & Jenny Saville have embraced Damien Hirst’s post-Modernist doctrine that “Art is about life, and it can’t really be anything else. There isn’t anything else” in exploring gender, identity, feminism and body boundaries. With the media obsession with airbrushed bodies, have we completed the circle that began in antiquity? Come and join the debate.

This event coincides with the excellent ‘All Too Human: Bacon & Freud’ exhibition at the Tate Britain, 28 Feb – 27 Aug 2018.

For further information on the Study Day please contact:

Rachel Chadwick:

Timings for the day:

  • Arrival & Coffee 09:30
  • Session 1 10:00 – 11:15
  • Coffee & biscuits
  • Session 2 11:45 – 13:00
  • Lunch 13:00 – 14:00 Lunch (a light lunch is provided)
  • Session 3 14:00 – 15:30
  • Afternoon Tea (not covered in the cost)

Cost for the event £55 (Parking is available at the venue)


To book a place please contact Katie Nelson on 07720775087 or via email:

Quote of the Month

“The painter takes whatever it is and destroys it. At the same time he gives it another life. For himself.”

Pablo Picasso to Malraux.

Related image


Welcome to Arcadia Education for Art History, and welcome to 2018, wherever you are in the world.

In welcoming in 2018, please do consult our various study days and art talks for the new calendar year as advertised under ‘View all Events’ on the bottom right on the Homepage: Arcadia Calendar ’18

You can also view last year’s Arcadia calendar here: Arcadia Calendar ’17 in order to gain a broader idea of what we do and where.

In the interim, I will share with you a pair of great quotes combined into one, in a new book on How Creativity Can Change the World:

Marcel Proust “Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself…… Artists upload their cultural simulations to the cultural cloud, allowing the species to see beyond the actual to the possible. The arts constantly shape the landscape of possibilities, illuminating previously unseen paths.” (A. Brandt & D. Eagleman)

 Keep calm and Study Art History.



Dear All


Due to the heavy snow and various roads being closed due to extreme weather, we had to postpone our course at Barnsley House on 10 December 2017.

It seems ironic we had to call off a Winter Wonderland Course due to heavy snow!

The new date for the same course proposal is 4th February 2018.

See the Arcadia Course details here: Winter Course


Are you not entertained? Performance Art

The Art of Performance Art

High Road House (Soho House Group) 162-166 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, London W4 1PR

December 4th with Nick Nelson of Arcadia Education –

Yves Klein’s Anthropométries employed nude female models as ‘living paintbrushes,’ yet what prompted Christo to wrap the Reichstag in polypropylene fabric? Is Martin Creed’s Work No. 850 featuring a person running as fast as they can every thirty seconds through the Tate Gallery in London really Art? What do you make of Banksy’s geocaching ‘Better Out Than In’ in New York? Why was Ai Weiwei secretly detained for 81 days? Who staged a pillow fight on Tracey Emin’s Bed and which artist created a chocolate bust of themself only to be licked? Come along and endeavour to find out!

The Arts Society Study Day 2


Do join us for the second of two special interest study days devised by Alex Davies: as Chair of the Arts Society for the West Mercia region.

The fuller programme for the two days can be found here: WM Study Day yet on Thursday 2nd November, Nick Nelson, Director of Arcadia Education, will be presenting at 11:45am on the sculptural work of the seminal Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

The event is to be held at Cheltenham College: