Tag Archives: mural

Visit to Eton College Chapel

Students on Birkbeck’s BA History of Art visited Eton College Chapel in November with Lecturer in Renaissance Art Dr Joanne Anderson. Three students give their accounts of the visit.


Sheelagh Daley, part-time 3rd-year student – BA History of Art

The visit to Eton College was a unique opportunity to see an English mural cycle not just in its original location, but also still in the context for which it was painted – that of a working chapel. This made it much easier to think about the original context for the mural and to appreciate the complexity of the cycle as well as see how the mural cycle related to the rest of the building. This gave me an insight into how the mural paintings we have looked at on the course worked in practice. As an additional treat we were shown a secular wall painting in the Master’s study which gave an insight into medieval pedagogy as well as classroom discipline for naughty boys, which I’m glad that Birkbeck doesn’t emulate. Overall it was a truly memorable visit.

Kristina Dolgilevica, part-time 4th-year student – BA History of Art

I am a Year 4 student of art history at Birkbeck. When studying an academic subject it is important to venture out of the classroom – particularly if the subject contains a lot of visual material. At Birkbeck, on average, we have four trips/ gallery visits per year. Our recent trip to Eton College Chapel to see the 15th-century wall paintings was a real treat – I got to see the artwork in its original context, which without a doubt has contributed to my way of thinking about the subject, and is something you cannot get by looking at a photograph. Moreover, our group got to meet the people who work on site; they provided us with some valuable information and were very welcoming. I guess one of the most important aspects of venturing out of the classroom is that you get to spend more time with your group in an informal setting and discuss the subject you study in more detail, in a more relaxed environment. If I had to choose one word to describe our recent trip, it would be – stimulating!

Sue Prior, part-time student 3rd year – BA History of Art

Our trip to Eton was great; an excellent opportunity to get out of the lecture room and see some works of art in context. I enjoyed being able to sit in the chapel surrounded by the murals and with Joanne’s explanation of the scheme, imagine how they would have been viewed at the time. Seeing the predominantly grisaille frescoes in the flesh, we were able to really see the depth and contrast the artist managed to achieve with the limited colour palette.  It was an informative and fun afternoon.