History of Art at Cambridge gives you the opportunity of both broad and specific study. In the first year I studied one painting in significant detail by completing a short dissertation, while the Making and Meaning courses provided a firm background in 2000 years of art history. Spending each week on a new topic or time period, I have been surprised to develop interests in areas I had never considered before. Who knew 17th century fountains could be so interesting?
For me, the most exciting aspect of History of Art at Cambridge is the focus on studying art and architecture in person. Each week during the first year there are a number of small group classes which take place in front of works of art and architecture around Cambridge. Through these sessions we are able to examine hidden treasures dotted around the city that are often unavailable to tourists. An original drawing by Titian in the Fitzwilliam collection was a particular highlight.
Studying at Jesus College places even greater emphasis on direct engagement with art and architecture. From Cornelia Parker to Antony Gormley, original works are scattered throughout the College. Programmes like the annual arts festival and the student picture loan scheme allow students to engage with art on their own terms, or even borrow a few works themselves!
In my opinion the unique experience of studying History of Art at Cambridge is exemplified by my daily walk from Jesus College to the Faculty, which sees me pass an Anglo-Saxon church, Victorian gateway, and a Tudor chapel all before my first lecture of the day.