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Online Art History Courses – Top3!

Khalid Elezabi

Whether your major is already Art, thinking about studying art or considering art as your passion and hobby, this article will be definitely useful for you!

Paintings, sculptures and architecture of the medieval and renaissance art are what we are going to put a magnifying glass on today through providing a guiding review for some of the best available online courses in Art History.

Why studying Art History?

  • To understand why an artistic object you saw was made the way it is
  • Learn about your history and how it was shaped
  • No prior Experience required
  • Fulfill your passion in Cultures, Religions, Philosophy, History or Languages
  • Keep up with the shifting trend of verbal to visual learning

If you like visiting museums and galleries, and for example wondered why a painting was painted this way and thought about its uniqueness, then definitely its circumstances and history will have an answer for you.

Many people are interested to know and understand specific eras. This includes historical, cultural, economic, political and religious contexts. It is important to mention that each previously mentioned aspect changed and shaped these artistic objects and made them look the way they are today in one way or another.

The most amazing thing about the following courses is that you really do not need to have a previous experience in studying Art.  All what you need to start any course of the following is to have a passion for Art, History, Philosophy, Languages, Religions or Cultures.

Have you ever thought about how visual our world has become?! The rapid development in technology shifted a major part of our learning process from verbal learning to visual learning. For instance, think about video games, TV and portable screens (Mobile phones and Tablets). Thus, your brain is putting a massive amount of effort in processing these visuals rather than processing verbal texts to learn and develop. Studying Art will definitely help you understand the process of development regarding learning and allows you to keep up with this inevitable shift in our lives.

@Angel with the Sponge, Ponte Sant’Angelo, Rome




One of the angels designed by Bernini as an embellishment to Pons Aelius for Pope Clement IX, the angel (Angel of the Sponge) is one of ten representing – Passion Instruments of Christ – placed on Saint Angel bridge linking Rome to the Vatican, Ponte Sant’Angelo in Rome. 




Course: Art History Renaissance to 20th Century

Created by: Kenney Mecher Ph.D. (Ohlone College, Fermont)

Available at: Udemy

Duration: (Full lifetime access)

Rating: 4.6/5.0

Price: $ 24.99 (Discounts Available)

This amazing course will teach you art history as it focuses at times from Renaissance era and its beginnings in Florence, Italy until the 20th century. It is built to easily let you pass basic level Art History classes and will definitely make you understand what you are looking at if you visit Art galleries and museums.

One of the advantages to the course is that it requires no prior experience in the field and it covers works in depth in a very easy and clear manner. Moreover, you will be able to interpret symbolism in these works. It is worthy to mention that this course is an actual course taught at Ohlone College, California.

The course has very high ratings (4.6/5.0), once purchased you have access to the material for a lifetime. Almost all participants loved the experience of learning and enjoyed every minute as it is extremely flawed, find more about the course HERE.

Course: Age of Cathedrals

Created by: Yale University

Available at: Coursera

Duration: (Full lifetime access)

Rating: 4.6/5.0

Price: Free Material (Optional $ 49 – Certificate)

Age of Cathedrals course focuses on one of the amazing architectural monuments humans have ever built – Gothic Cathedrals. The course covers many aspects around which these cathedrals were built. Some of these aspects are intellectual, economic, social, political and of course artistic. It aims to teach you how to appreciate medieval History and the high middle ages. As it is important to recognize how humans came to the point we witness today in all fields.

The course requires no experience in Art nor middle ages. Anyone who is interested in Religion, History, Art and most importantly architecture is going to love every moment of this course provided by a renowned institution – Yale University.

You can access the course content for free. However, you can be certified if you pay only $ 49 USD. It is worthy to mention that there is financial aid available. You can find out more about the course HERE.

Course: The Mediterranean, a Space of Exchange (from Renaissance to Enlightenment)

Created by: Universitat de Barcelona

Language: English Subtitles

Available at: Coursera

Duration: (Full lifetime access)

Rating: 4.2/5.0

Price: Free Material (Optional $ 49 – Certificate)

What makes this course different is the creators who are coming from Barcelona University. In other words, professionals who are talking from a Mediterranean country – Spain, which witnessed the evolution of Art across Europe.

The Mediterranean is considered the place at which civilizations start to evolve and build the world we live in today. Civilizations living around the Mediterranean such as Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilizations were amazingly participating in this movement. To understand Renaissance art and enlightenment era Art, it is important to learn more about what happened around the Mediterranean, considering mobility factors, religious, political and historical aspects.

The course is highly recommended since it presents amazing and astonishing information about Art in that part of the world with a very cheap price with a full lifetime access to the content. You can learn more about the course HERE.

  1. This is amazing Khalid! Thank you for the rundown. I have to admit that I am a museum geek. I feel at home in museums. I guess it is my love for the past, and of course the arts. It never dawned on me that I can actually legitimize it or enhance my knowledge on it. Another tick on my bucket list. Super thanks brother =)

    • You are welcome, brother. We are happy you found the article useful. And yes, arts and museums are quite interesting. If you really like it, I think enhancing your knowledge will be so useful.
      Stay tuned for our next topic !

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