Universiteit Leiden

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Art, Architecture and Interior before 1800 (MA)

In our MA Art, Architecture and the Interior before 1800 you will explore the role of the arts in medieval and early modern societies. Painting, sculpture, prints and the applied arts were not isolated objects in museums, but formed an integral part of palaces, churches, and private houses, giving them meaning by enforcing the position of rulers, expressing faith, or evoking joy, fear or even abhorrence.

Arts and architecture before 1800 in context

This MA centers on the (visual and applied) arts and architecture of western Europe before 1800, but will go beyond the traditional monodisciplinary approach. Rather than focusing on the most famous paintings, we will show how art and architecture interacted with other media, such as theatre, literature and religion. Moreover, we adopt a clear transnational approach by showing that the arts served as a ‘highway’ for intercultural exchange. European artists, architects and artisans explored all corners of the world, being influenced by and influencing the art they encountered. Examples from the Dutch Golden Age include Frans Post’s Brazilian landscapes, Classicist houses in Gdansk and the Chinese-inspired Delftware.

A close community

Our MA Art History is unique in the Netherlands for providing a program in English, thus bringing you into contact with students from all over the world. Moreover, we guarantee a high-level student-centered environment and individual supervision. We work closely together with the most eminent institutes abroad, such as Cambridge University and the Ecole du Louvre in the form of seminars and summer schools.

Find out more about the study programme

Career perspectives

You will get the opportunity to combine in-depth research with internships at leading museums and institutions. This program prepares you for a range of careers in academia, as well as for careers in institutions for heritage, auction houses, teaching, curatorship, art journalism and publishing, not in the least because our staff includes two prominent curators of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum.

Learn more about the career perspectives

World-class resources

Our innovative, interdisciplinary program takes advantage of its close collaboration with prominent museums and institutions in Leiden. Moreover, the Rijksmuseum, the Mauritshuis, and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen are at a close distance from Leiden. In addition, you will have direct access to world-class resources such as the University Print Room and you will be in contact with prominent museum curators and restorers.

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