Cortina Learning International, Inc.

Cortina Learning International

Cortina Languages

Famous Artists School


Leading publisher of home study courses

Cortina Learning International, Inc. (CLI) was a multimedia publishing company specializing in instructional materials and educational programs for individual home study in foreign languages, English as a second language, fine art, and commercial art.

Founded in 1882 as Cortina Academy of Languages by Professor Rafael Diaz de la Cortina, CLI originated the recorded method of language learning, using early cylinders developed for Cortina by Thomas Edison.

Since its founding, Cortina has been in the forefront of the language learning field, and offers both short and advanced Courses in CD and cassette format, including textbooks and other supplementary materials.

In 1981, CLI expanded its distance education curriculum by acquiring Famous Schools, publishers of the Famous Artists Courses. These thorough and comprehensive Courses feature extensive instructional materials plus the individual attention of accomplished artists who critique each student's assignments.

Course Offerings

Foreign Language Courses

There are several courses for travelers still available as digital audio downloads:

  • Traveler's Brazlian Portuguese Part 1 & Part 2
  • Traveler's French Part 1 & Part 2
  • Traveler's German Part 1 & Part 2
  • Traveler's Italian Part 1 & Part 2
  • Traveler's Spanish Part 1 & Part 2

Fine Art & Commercial Art Courses

Famous Artists School developed a revolutionary method of study capitalizing on a student's own talent and imagination and giving the student the tools to develop and use what he or she has — through a process that’s easy and rewarding. Textbooks, available online, provide a complete course of study which starts with basic principles gleaned from the knowledge of some of America's best artists.

Famous Artists School offered four course textbooks, which are still available at

  • Foundations Creative Art Course textbooks distill the core of what you need to know as an artist into ten chapters filled with lessons and demonstrations. You will start with the basics of pencil and Foundationsink and move on through painting, design, composition, perspective, and color. Topics include forms, texture, drawing the human figure and more.
  • Painting Master Creative Art Course textbooks take you from the essentials of Foundations to advanced techniques in oil, watercolor, and acrylic painting, plus in-depth Painting Master demonstrations and instruction on landscape, portraiture, the human figure, and composition. You will study motifs, creative expression, anatomy, structure, draping, and much more.
  • Illustration & Design Master Creative Art Course textbooks take you from the basics of Foundations to advanced composition, line drawing, illustration, and reportage. In-depth Illustration and Design Master demonstrations instill principles of design and how to apply them in contexts from magazines to branding to fashion illustration to artwork for various media.
  • Famous Artists Cartooning Course, Book 1 is an online-only textbook. This course has such a solid-gold pedigree we are reissuing it without modernizing the text. It offers you practical instruction that is the closest thing to actually sitting in the cartoonist's studio.