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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

This program will be available for sale to the general public starting on December 7, 2021.

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Enduring Themes in Western Art Part II

4 Session Afternoon Course

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to Wednesday, March 30, 2022 - 1:15 p.m. ET
Upcoming Session:
Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0679
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$80 - Member
$90 - Non-Member

"The Night Watch" (detail) by Rembrandt van Rijn, 1642

Over the centuries, there are major themes in the history of art that continue to appear and reappear. The nude, history painting, and animals—images from our earliest ancestors—are a few notable examples artists have interpreted in styles ranging from naturalistic to surreal.

In this course, 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.

March 9  History Painting

This genre provides a visual narrative of a special moment in history. The artists discussed include Titian, Rembrandt, Jacques-Louis David, Benjamin West, and Delacroix.

March 16  Animal Painting

Wildlife has been a popular subject since early humans drew on cave walls. Artists discussed include Durer, Stubbs, Marc, and Picasso.

March 23  Fantasy

Fascination with creating imagery based in magical, irrational, and supernatural ideas was an early harbinger of what became surrealism. Artists discussed include Bosch, Arcimboldo, Magritte, Ernst, and Dali.

March 30  The Nude

Painting the nude figure was predominant in ancient Babylon and Greece. It was later embraced by such artists as Michelangelo, Titian, Botticelli, Giorgione, Rubens, Goya, Manet, and Modigliani.

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.