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Psychomachia! Anglo-Saxon Life Drawing


  • The British Library 96 Euston Road London NW1 2DB (map)
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Virtue vs Vice

The Psychomachia, or ‘Battle of the Soul’, was composed by the Late Antique poet Prudentius in the 5th century. It depicts allegorical women as Virtue versus Vice as they fight for possession of the human soul. Two Anglo-Saxon copies survive in the British Library’s collections, produced in England in the 10th and 11th centuries with illuminations bringing the action-packed battle to life.

In this course, you will have the opportunity to visit Anglo-Saxons: Art, Word, War and create a contemporary series of drawings inspired by the Psychomachia. After an introduction to visual storytelling in Anglo-Saxon times, you will develop techniques to capture the human figure in a dynamic, expressive way.

You will then capture nude models Carla and Manko as Virtue versus Vice in a series of poses devised by the Art Model Collective and tutored by artist Leo Crane.

By the end of the weekend, you will have learnt how to depict the body confidently and creatively in a narrative composition. You will have created four drawings that can stand together as a series or independently. You will also have the opportunity to feature your work in a dedicated online gallery.

£185/£157. Limited places. Tickets and further details available through the British Library.

Earlier Event: February 12
Drastik Measures is Starkers
Later Event: February 20
Life Drawing Late