Aliki Braine — Guest Lecturer, Continuing Education
‘Being an artist has always been my ambition,’ says Paris-born Aliki Braine, whose career as an art historian and Guest Lecturer at Christie’s Education runs parallel to her art practice. Immersed in and passionate about art since childhood, Aliki has studied at the Ruskin School of Art, the Slade and the Courtauld, and exhibited her fine art photography across Europe.
Teaching, too, is a passion. Since 2015, Aliki has worked with Christie’s Education, introducing Western European painting to the general public — ‘whether they are total beginners or seasoned connoisseurs.’ In demystifying the art she discusses, Aliki seeks to embolden her audience, to give ‘everyone the simple tools and confidence not just to see art but to know how to look at it.’
‘Christie’s Education presents lectures and short courses online across a wide range of topics spanning a world history of art, including focused, specialist subjects as well as broader topics,’ Aliki says. She hopes students completing her courses will go on to engage ‘more fully with the art world,’ perhaps pursuing a career in the field.
As an artist, Aliki ‘has always been in conversation with Old Masters’ — one of the reasons she pursued further studies in art history. She was awarded a masters degree in 17th-century painting, a subject that resonates with her series of ‘photographs from negative confetti’, works that suggest celestial glimpses of still lifes, atomised fragments of Van Gogh’s Almond Blossoms, or the cloudy sky in Vermeer’s View of Delft. Her photographs have been exhibited at private galleries in London and Vienna, the Musée d’art de Pully in Lausanne and Belgrade’s Kulturni Centar.
A regular lecturer at the National Gallery, Aliki also teaches at the Wallace Collection, the Courtauld Gallery and The Arts Society, and is an Associate Lecturer in the Department of Fine Art Photography at the University of the Arts in London. She has also contributed to a number of publications, including Art: The Whole Story, published by Thames & Hudson.
Perhaps the most rewording aspect of teaching, Aliki finds, is the collective engagement of her audience. ‘Art can often appear obtuse and art history can come across as elitist,’ she attests. Speaking to a group of people ‘so diverse in their knowledge and backgrounds makes for wonderful discussions and viewpoints. Listening to and observing others engage with art is a wonderful privilege.’