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The Art and Life of Jeffrey Smart
The Art and Life of Jeffrey Smart
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The Short Course

The Art and Life of Jeffrey Smart

Regular price AU $110 AU $0 Unit price per
Including GST

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 Enrolment Guide

Why should I take this course?

Explore the work of the late expatriate Australian painter Jeffrey Smart

The Art and Life of Jeffrey Smart at a glance

Course Summary

Explore the work of the late expatriate Australian painter known for his precisionist depictions of urban landscapes that are "full of private jokes and playful allusions"

During this course, Dr. Nick Gordon, will delve into the works of Jeffrey Smart through the following sessions:

  • The life and times of Jeffrey Smart
  • Anxiety of influence
  • Smart’s early works
  • Iconic Italy
  • Perspective and geometry

The ART & LIFE OF JEFFREY SMART lecture series is a live event that take place in a virtual private ‘room’ with a maximum of 15 participants, however the content is also offered as recorded lectures, which you can stream at your convenience.

Important Information

Course Length: 3 x 1.5 hr classes
Mode: Online
Commitment: 1.5 hours per week
Access Requirements: Refer to "Further Information"
Prerequisites: None
Start Date: 13 January 2021
Institution: The Short Course
Course Information

Jeffrey Smart is one of Australia’s most loved artists. His paintings of eerily silent yet colourful urban landscapes are prize pieces in Australia’s galleries and private collections, and often evoke a sense of mystery, as if only part of a story has been glimpsed. This course explores his art and his life, from his beginnings in Adelaide, to his breakthrough in Sydney, and the creation of iconic paintings in his studio in Tuscany. In addition, it explores the range of influences on his work, including Piero della Francesca, Cézanne, and Léger, his one-time teacher in Paris.


The life and times of Jeffrey Smart. Jeffrey Smart led an extraordinary life, through suburban Adelaide, to Sydney, Melbourne, Paris, and ultimately Italy. Fleeting glimpses of this life are caught in his works – Sydney baths and beaches in the 1960s, the economic miracle of post-war Italy – but what makes these so significant? To what extent are these personal visions of the modern world?

Anxiety of influence. Behind Smart’s work is an exceptional degree of rigour – indeed, even as an eminent artist, he continued to study life drawing in Italy. Explore the range of influences on Smart’s work, from Renaissance masters such as Piero della Francesca, to modernists such as Cézanne, and contemporaries such as Dorrit Black and Fernand Léger.

Smart’s early works. Smart’s early works reveal much about his later success, such as his devotion to line and form, or his understanding and rejection of some types of abstraction. But, as easy as it is to look back and trace a straight line to the present, his early works also tell a different story – one of struggle, one of bucking the art trends of his day, and his engagement with artists, and his contribution to public life.

Iconic Italy. When one travels through Italy – along its roads, airports, and harbours – one often sees a ‘Smart’. Smart was one of a number of Australian artists and writers who discovered Italy and left a permanent mark on how we see the place. Explore these iconic works of Smart in detail, and get to know the artistic and art historical games he’s playing in them.

Perspective and geometry. Smart’s mastery of linear perspective resonates throughout his oeuvre. The technique itself, however, is part of Smart’s wider use of geometry to give consistent structure to his works on a two-dimensional surface. This session teaches you how to analyse the geometry that underpins his work.

Course Provider

The Short Course was created by Dr. Nick Gordon to connect you with academic experts who are passionate about their fields and are adept at helping you learn more about art and history. As experienced teachers and public communicators, we understand that learning is a lifelong pleasure and that good teaching is about much more than just imparting knowledge. Our philosophy is that good teaching helps you understand more about the history and cultures of the world so that you can see more for yourself, even long after a class has ended.

The Short Course brings you the enjoyment of learning in a small group through online webinars. Each session includes a lecture by an academic with expertise in the subject he or she is teaching, giving you access to a wealth of cultural and historical knowledge. We offer two different types of classes: live short courses with a maximum of 15 participants, and recorded lecture courses that you can stream at your convenience.


Dr. Nick Gordon is a cultural historian and holds a PhD in history from the University of Sydney. His research into medieval and Renaissance Europe has won numerous academic awards and scholarships, including the University Medal in History from the University of Sydney, and has been published in prestigious peer-reviewed journals. Nick has over 15 years’ experience as a lecturer to university and public audiences.

Course Availability

This course is made up of 3 x 1.5 hour sessions. Each session includes an interactive lecture and time for questions and discussion. The sessions for this course are scheduled for the following dates:

Wednesdays 10:00-11:30am (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)

  • 13 January 2021 (start date)
  • 20 January 2021
  • 27 January 2021

    Access to Live Lectures

    Short courses take place in a virtual private room in Zoom, a free platform for online meetings and seminars. Zoom works on most desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Zoom requires a computer or device with a camera, speakers, and an internet connection.

    Once you have booked your place in a course, you will receive a confirmation email. This email contains the link to the Zoom room. Clicking on the link or copying into your browser will start Zoom and take you into a virtual waiting room. Your lecturer or course administrator will admit you to the Zoom room. Only the lecturer and people booked on the course will be allowed into the Zoom room, keeping it a safe and secure online environment.

    Access to Recorded Lectures

    Once you have booked on a recorded lecture course, you will receive a confirmation email with a link in it. You will then receive a second email with a password. The link and password will allow you to access a private webpage, from which you can stream the lectures at your convenience.

    Further Information
    After You Enrol

    Our online short courses are live events that take place in a virtual private ‘room’ with a maximum of 15 participants - it’s like taking a class. Each short course is divided into sessions; each session begins with a lecture - and because it’s live, you can ask questions and offer comments - and is followed by time for questions and discussion. The lecture component of these sessions is recorded, so if you miss a class then you can catch up later.

    The Short Course also offers recorded lecture courses, which you can stream at your convenience.

    Study Requirements

    This course does not require any assumed knowledge, only a willingness to learn, and an interest in history.

    Live sessions require:

    • Access to ZOOM, which is free
    • A device with a camera, such as a tablet or a computer with a webcam
    • Internet connection

    Cancellations & Refunds

    All cancellations are subject to both the InspiringED.com Terms & Conditions and those of the institution delivering your course.

    • A $250 InspiringED.com administration fee will apply for all cancellations requested after 48 hours of your enrollment
    • Up to 2 weeks prior to live lecture event: 100% refund, less any administration fee
    • Up to 1 week prior to live lecture event: 50% refund, less any administration fee
    • Within 1 week of live lecture event: no refund, less any administration fee
    • Change of session dates, subject to availability, less any administration fee

    Your enrollment may be cancelled by completing our contact form HERE.