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Art Meets Music: A Duet Between Visual Artists and Composers

Symbols and Allegories: Art’s Hidden Musical Codes

Afternoon Course

Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0150
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Materials for this program

  1. 10.14 Art Meets Music | Syllabus & Works

Clockwise: Marc Chagall's ceiling inside the Palais Garnier painted in 1964, Paris (Photo: David Stanley), Allegory of Music by Filippino Fiorentino, "The Sharp Family" by Johann Zoffany (NPG London), Frédéric Chopin by Delacroix

Save when you purchase the Art Meets Music series!

Music and the visual arts have always walked hand-in-hand. For millennia, artists have obsessed about how to represent music’s invisible beauty, just as composers have sought to render art’s vibrant colors in pure sound.

Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin for a fascinating exploration into the intimate relationship between the visible and invisible arts, and how music can literally bind the arts together.

British-born Franklin has been a featured speaker for organizations including the Library of Congress and heard on NPR, exploring intersections among classical and jazz music, film scores, and the fine arts.

Session Information

Symbols and Allegories: Art’s Hidden Musical Codes

Humans have been playing music for more than 40,000 years and images of us with our instruments abound from Neolithic times. From intimate family portraits to massive historical, religious, and allegorical artworks, music and musicians are embedded throughout the history of art. Many of these works contain secret codes that contemporary viewers would have understood. Franklin interprets glorious paintings by artists such as Lippi, Vermeer, and Hogarth and offers music that would have been performed at the time.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

Additional Sessions

Patron Information

  • If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
  • Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
  • View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.