Catching ideas of Beauty: A journey into the philosophy of art Part I

Course online

New dates will be available soon

Deadline for applying: 

A good preparation in the field of art philosophy helps contextualise topics that are too often treated superficially by curators and art critics. Making art or talking about art cannot be approached without a good knowledge of the philosophers who have been instrumental in developing theories of art. 

This is an experimental online course that wants to take a closer look at some conceptualizations made on beauty, philosophy of art, aesthetics and the sublime. In these first 6 online sessions we will have a closer look at Walter Benjamin, G.W.F. Hegel and Immanuel Kant. We call these theories and authors classical, which is a word to hide that we forgot about their theories in detail and that we effectively have only wrapped-up conclusions or prejudices about them in our minds. The word “classical” is effectively today a word that means “irrelevant” for our own time and purposes. A “classical” is well known and famous to everybody, but extraneous to us. But the reality is that all these classical theories and texts are much less homogenous and well known as they seem. They are ambiguous and conflictual already for themselves and in their own paradoxes very much relevant for our own ideas of beauty and art theory. In this series of lectures, readings and conversations we do not have to talk necessarily about the realities of art and beauty today, about single artworks or artists — although we might do if we want to — but our focus is set on concepts of beauty and philosophy of art between 1750 and 1930. While doing so we will try to catch the very detailed core of them in their very specific contradictions and ambiguities. 

We will try to go to the bone of the idea of beauty in: 

Sessions 1 and 2, Immanuel Kant 

Session 3 and 4, G.W.F. Hegel Session 

5 and 6, Walter Benjamin 

Other sessions on Arthur Schopenhauer, Edmund Burke, Friedrich Schiller, Leo Tolstoy, Martin Heidegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein among others are planned.

The fee is 590 euro. 

Our Online Delivery Method Online Study Lectures effectively run over the week – Tuesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm CET – maintaining our usual tours’ focused, intensive and immersive experience.Live Seminars - Each lecture is two hours long at the end of each lecture we will have a half an hour for questions and discussions. 

Your tutor will hold live seminars with you and discussions are accessed via a web-link which we will email to you. These sessions enable you to ‘meet’ your tutor and fellow students. To participate you will only need an internet enabled device; you do not need a account. If you have questions that you were not able to raise in the discussions, you will also be able to communicate with your tutor by email.


The application has to be sent together with the CV to

The Tutor

Sandro Pignotti, PhD in philosophy and German Literature. Fellow at the Rosenzweig Minerva research center in Jerusalem and of the Simon Dubnow Institute in Lipsia (Germany).He has been lecturing in the Kassel University, Bonn University. He has published articles and books about Walter Benjamin, Reiner Maria Rilke, Herman Cohen, Franz Kafka, J. W.von Goethe and Leo Strauss. Since 2004 he has been running the School for Curatorial Studies Venice, and lecturingTheory of Knowledge, Esthetics and Art Theory.

Since 2014 he is director and founder of the A plus A gallery organizing shows including artists like: Jesse Darling, Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Luiz Roque, Helen Cammock, Keren Cytter, Loretta Fahrenholz. R.B. Kitaj, Eileen Agar, Jean-Marie Appriou, Alastair Mackinven, Joseph Beuys, Henrik Olesen, Claes Oldenburg, Stephen Kaltenbach, Nathalie Du Pasquier and Patrick Procktor.