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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Enduring Themes in Western Art Part 1

4-Session Afternoon Course

Monday, November 15, 2021 - 1:00 p.m. to Monday, December 6, 2021 - 2:15 p.m. ET
Upcoming Session:
Monday, November 15, 2021 - 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0649
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$80 - Member
$90 - Non-Member
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Left: "Landscape" (detail) by Charles H. Moore, 1859;  Right: "Jim" (detail) by William H. Johnson, 1930, portrait of his younger brother (Smithsonian American Art Museum)

Over the centuries, there are major themes in the history of art that continue to appear and reappear. Portraiture, landscapes, and scenes of everyday life are a few notable examples artists have interpreted in styles ranging from naturalistic to surreal.

In this course (part 2 concludes in 2022), art historian Joseph Cassar examines important masterworks within selected genres and offers a new way to understand and appreciate the similarities among—and the uniqueness of—the artists and the cultural norms that influenced their choices.

NOV 15  Portraits

Ideal, realistic, and psychological portraits, including works by Van Eyck, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Picasso, Bacon, and Close. 

NOV 22  Landscapes 

Landscapes allow us to see what the world looked like from a particular point in time, and through the artists’ unique interpretations. Landscapes, installations, and environmental art, including works by John Frederick Kensett, Turner, Monet, Ansel Adams, Goldsworthy, and Christo. 

NOV 29  Holy Pictures 

Holy and sacred personages and scenes portraying the Christian faith, including work by Giotto, Fra Angelico, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Emil Nolde, and Georges Rouault. 

DEC 6  The Figure 

The human figure is one of the more intimate themes in art history. Explore works by Ingres, Delacroix, Renoir, Duchamp, De Kooning, and Freud.

4 sessions

World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit*

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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 core course 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.