Northern Renaissance Art in Brussels

The 14th through the 16th centuries were an exciting period for the history and culture of Northern Europe. The development of commerce led to a flowering of the arts - in all disciplines. Art was influenced by a world vision completely different from that of Italy and this, in turn, influenced its artistic expressions. Study the works of the pioneers of Flemish art - van Eyck, van der Weyden, and Campin with their infinite landscapes and dazzling details. You will learn about reality and symbol in Flemish art and see how it influenced the works of Bosch. In addition to developments in Flemish painting, you will also learn about painting in Germany, as well as sculpture, tapestry, and the building of Gothic cathedrals.

Topics include:

  • The pioneers: Campin, van Eyck, and van der Weyden
  • Reality and symbol in northern art
  • The cross influences between Northern Europe and Italy
  • Bosch: Art and witchcraft
  • Sculpture and architecture
  • Manuscripts and tapestries
  • Painting in Germany

Faculty: Dr. John Nolan, e-mail

May apply for  general education requirements in humanities, art history minor, and electives.

Tentative Course Itinerary

Day 1

1500Introductory lecture
 Introduction to the class requirements
 Introduction to Art History for students without a background
 Visit to the Grand Place

Day 2

0830-0930Lecture: Van Eyck, Van der Weyden
 Train to Gent: St. Bavo, Graslei, and Fine Arts Museum

Day 3

0900-1200Lecture: Renaissance and Northern Renaissance
 Visit to cathedral and Grand Place
1400-1700Lecture: Reformation and Druer

Day 4

 Train to Bruges: Groeningen and Memling Museums, Town Hall

Day 5

 Train to Antwerp: Van den Berg Museum and Printong Museum

Day 6

        Train to S-Hertogenbosch (Netherlands) and the Bosch exhibition
 Evening return to Brussels

Day 7

0900-1100Lecture: Breugel to Reubens, Changing Status of the Artist Sablon
1800-1900Review for exam

Day 8

0900-1200Exam, summary, and departure

All rail departure times currently remain TBA

Accommodation and Transportation

For your convenience, UMUC coordinates the hotel and excursion arrangements for a flat fee of $650 per student per field study course. This fee will be charged to your student account and covers seven nights of lodging (double occupancy room), as well as local transportation costs and entry to all excursions. Single rooms are available upon request for an additional fee of $200.

The $650 fee does not include travel to and from the city where the course is held. Students must make their own travel arrangements to the course.

Textbooks and Course Materials

Please refer to the current course syllabus found on the schedule for details about course materials.

Registration Details

You may register for the 3 credit field study course with your local program coordinator or online at MyUMGC. Tuition assistance or financial aid can be applied toward tuition costs. For more information, contact the UMGC Field Study Office at CIV +49-(0)631-534-800, or e-mail

Before completing your travel plans, please verify with your local program coordinator or the Field Study Office at UMGC Europe Headquarters that the course will be held as scheduled. If you drop/withdraw from a field study course after the registration deadline, you will be charged a fee of $100.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How is a field study course different from a regular course?
A field study course packs all of the 48 contact-hours of other courses into seven adventure-filled days on location, so you can earn three credits in 5 weeks. In addition, rather than taking place in an education center, a field study course takes place in a historical European city where the subject being studied has its roots. You will visit historical sites and museums as well as participate in lectures that bring it all together for a one-of-a-kind learning experience.

The on-site portion of field study courses are also scheduled during registration weeks, so they shouldn't interfere with your other courses.

For more information, please visit the Field Study Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.

Helpful Hints

Before you leave:

  • Contact your travel agency concerning insurance coverage for cancellations.
  • Contact your health insurance company for information concerning coverage at your destination.
  • Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of your destination country.
  • Check the weather forecast for your destination.
  • Obtain city maps for your destination.
  • Leave contact information with people at home who may need to reach you during the course.
  • Make sure your legal affairs are in order and leave a short-term power of attorney with someone you trust.
  • Make two photocopies of your passport and the contents of your wallet--leave one copy at home, and bring the other with you.

For more information, please visit the Field Study Resources page.