Pupils develop an aesthetic appreciation of art, sculpture and architecture through the ages, helping them to make sense of our surroundings and culture.  

The History of Art department teaches a Pre-U course devised by the University of Cambridge, which develops a high level of visual awareness and a critical understanding of works of art from many cultures – as well as building core research and analytical skills. 

History of Art is a popular course, which can be combined with many other subjects. It is suitable for pupils who are curious about the visual culture that surrounds us, and who enjoy descriptive and analytical writing.

Pupils require no previous knowledge of the subject, and no practical art experience or aptitude.

Pupils develop analytical skills by studying great works of art, architecture and sculpture. They expand their historical knowledge by studying artworks from the Florentine Renaissance through to the birth of Modernism in the 20th-century. They explore the works of Masaccio, Botticelli, Donatello and Brunelleschi and major art movements including Cubism, Futurism, Fauvism and Expressionism. Landscape painting is another core focus, taking in works by well-known artists from Constable to Turner, as well as Japanese prints and The Pre-Raphaelites.

Independent research skills are reinforced through an in-depth coursework project. 

The department is housed in the Old Science School. All visual images used on the course are available to pupils on the internal computer network, supplemented by books from the extensive History of Art library. Pupils’ studies are enhanced by a trip to Florence at Easter, as well as visits to museums and art galleries in London to see original works of art. 

History of Art pupils develop a passion for the subject, and a high proportion go on to read the subject at university. Past Uppingham pupils are currently studying History of Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, UCL, Oxford Brookes and Newcastle.